I want to like Shel Silverstein. Really, I do. I feel like I failed a part of childhood because I've never been much a fan. I read a few books when I was younger (or had them read to me) and I didn't much care for them then (The Missing Piece, The Giving Tree) although everyone else seemed to love them. The Missing Piece was repetitive, dull and completely pointless by the end, and The Giving Tree is about a horribly selfish little boy who thinks he can talk to a tree... I guess I just missed how it's more about unconditional love, because I don't think love should inspire selfishness.
Anyway, in the last little while, I've tried again to read Silverstein because everyone I know loves him. So, I read my nephews' favorite, Don't Bump the Glump, my brother-in-law's favorite, Where the Sidewalk Ends, my friend's favorite, The Giving Tree (tried it again, still didn't care for it) and a few others just for good measure. I read Falling Up, A Light in the Attic, and Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book. I genuinely enjoyed A Light in the Attic and I thought Uncle Shelby's Adult Primer was morbidly funny but was not at all impressed with any of the others. Each book does contain some poems that I really enjoyed, but as a whole, I felt that there were better things I could be doing with my time.
I do enjoy reading these books with young kids, because they just seem to love them, but reading them by myself is boring. I think perhaps the utterly and absurdly ridiculous is wasted on me. I like a little ridiculous in my life, but these just seem to much, almost like they are trying so hard to be funny. Some of them are legitimately great but most of them just don't do it for me.
So tell me- what am I missing? What is it about Shel Silverstein that everyone loves but I just can't seem to get?! Can any one fill me in here? I'm at a loss.