Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Shel Silverstein  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children; Children;


-- Website --
-- Shel Silverstein on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Shel Silverstein grew up on Palmer Street in Chicago and attended Darwin Elementary, Roosevelt High School, University Of Illinois and Roosevelt University. He was a lifelong White Sox fan and worked as a hotdog vendor at the original Comiskey Park when he was young. His popularity with both the young and the old, and connection to his birthplace, all came together on July 13, 2009, when Millennium Park celebrated its 5th birthday with a night of song and spoken word in his honor called SHELabration.

Biographical and Professional Information

Shel Silverstein was a poet, songwriter, composer, cartoonist, screenwriter and children's writer.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Falling Up
ISBN: 0060513098

Harpercollins Childrens Books. 2003

A collection of more than one hundred poems and drawings introduces the characters Allison Beals and her twenty-five eels, Danny O'Dare the Dancin' Bear, Headphone Harry, and many others.

The Giving Tree
ISBN: 0060840986

HarperCollins. 2005

From Shel Silverstein, New York Times bestselling author of Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic, comes a poignant picture book about love and acceptance, cherished for over fifty years. This household classic is perfect for both young readers and lifelong fans.

"Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy."

So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein. This moving parable for all ages offers a touching interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.

Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk...and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave. This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation.

Light in the Attic
ISBN: 0060513063

Harpercollins Childrens Books. 2002

A collection of poems and drawings features an assortment of characters, including Almost Perfect Mary Hume and The Turnable Twistable Man.

Runny Babbit CD: A Billy Sook
ISBN: 0060823968

HarperFestival. 2005

From the legendary creator of Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, and The Giving Tree comes an unforgettable new character in children's literature.

Welcome to the world of Runny Babbit and his friends Toe Jurtle, Skertie Gunk, Rirty Dat, Dungry Hog, Snerry Jake, and many others who speak a topsy-turvy language all their own.

So if you say, "Let's bead a rook
That's billy as can se,"
You're talkin' Runny Babbit talk,
Just like mim and he.

And don't miss Runny Babbit Returns, the new book from Shel Silverstein!

Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?
ISBN: 0689851138

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 2002

Shel Silverstein
Who wants a cheap

Looking for a new pet? Bored with cats, dogs, goldfish, gerbils, and hamsters? How about a cheap rhinoceros?
Shel Silverstein's loving look at the joys of rhino ownership may convince you to be the one lucky kid to take home this very, very unusual pet.

Don't Bump the Glump!: And Other Fantasies
ISBN: 0061493384

HarperCollins Publishers. 2014

Don't Bump the Glump! turns fifty! A commemorative gold anniversary sticker graces Shel Silverstein's first poetry collection, celebrating fifty years since publication. This, his only book in full color, was published the same year as his famous classic The Giving Tree.

Filled with stunning ink and watercolor illustrations, Don't Bump the Glump! is bursting with Shel Silverstein's unique imagination and bold brand of humor. Are you ready to be astonished, tickled, and entertained by this most unusual bestiary of silly and amazing creatures?

Shel Silverstein's incomparable career as a bestselling children's book author and illustrator started with Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back. He is also the creator of picture books including A Giraffe and a Half, Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?, The Missing Piece, The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, and the perennial favorite The Giving Tree, as well as of classic poetry collections such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, Every Thing On It, Don't Bump the Glump!, and Runny Babbit.

And don't miss Runny Babbit Returns, the new book from Shel Silverstein!


New York Times Outstanding Book Award in 1974, Michigan Young Readers` Award in 1981, and George G. Stone Award in 1984, all for ''Where the Sidewalk Ends

Speaking Engagements

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