Saturday, May 4, 2013

[BOOK REVIEW] Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein

Title: Every Thing On It

Author: Shel Silverstein

Genre: Short Stories / Humor / Surreal / Poetry

Year Published: 2011

Year Read: 2013

Publisher: HarperCollins

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 7+ (Some Suggestive Themes)

After reading many of Shel Silverstein’s books including “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “A Light in the Attic,” I stumbled upon one of his most recent books, which is called “Every Thing on It” and it is just as surreal and hilarious as his previous works!

Basically, this book contains poems written by Shel Silverstein and some of my favorites include:

All Packed

“Me and Joe, we’re all packed up,
Me and Joe, we’ve got our tickets,
Me and Joe, we’re set to go-
Hey, wait a minute…
Where’s Joe?


My hair blower worked in reverse today-
There’s really not much more to say.

What I always loved so much about Shel Silverstein’s books is that the books are always surreal and hilarious, making Shel Silverstein’s books so creative to read through.  I have always thought of Shel Silverstein being like Dr. Seuss as his poems would usually have a rhyming scheme and often has outlandish situations happen to the characters; however Shel Silverstein’s poems are often much edgier than Dr. Seuss’ poems since most of his poems involves characters getting hurt or eaten.  But, it is that slightly dark quality that I always loved about Shel Silverstein’s poems and this book definitely did not disappoint me in this approach!  I loved the surreal nature of these poems as the characters would often meet creatures that are seriously out of this world, such as the poem “My Zoootch” where the bird-like creature actually helps scare a child’s nightmares away.  I also loved Shel Silverstein’s illustrations as they are bizarre and simplistic at the same time and I think the black and white colorings of the illustrations really made this book even more unique from the other children’s books.

Parents should know that there are some suggestive poems in this book that includes characters getting hurt or eaten by various creatures.  One poem that might disturb small children is the poem “My Hat” which shows an image of a small children wearing an extremely frightening hat that is shaped into a scary face and the illustration of the hat is so detailed that small children will be terrified by the image.  Parents might want to read this book before they read it to their children to see if their children can handled some of the somewhat disturbing poems in this book.

Overall, “Every Thing on it” is a truly superb book for children who are fans of Shel Silverstein’s works and are looking for books that have surreal images and poems!  I would recommend this book to children ages seven and up since it is extremely lengthy and some of the poems might be a bit too suggestive for younger children.



  1. Have you read his book Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back? It is still my favorite, even above the usual favorites.

    1. That sounds like a great book! I'll have to add it to my list!