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A Light in the Attic [Hardcover]

By Shel Silverstein (Author) & Shel Silverstein (Illustrator)
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Item Number 161607  
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Item description for A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein...

This collection of poems and drawings features an assortment of nutty characters, including Almost Perfect Mary Hume and The Turnable Twistable Man, and creates a lively world full of imagination and fun

Publishers Description

Last night while I lay thinking here Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear And pranced and partied all night long And sang their same old Whatif song:

Whatif I flunk that test?Whatif green hair grows on my chest?Whatif nobody likes me?Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?...

Here in the attic of Shel Silverstein you will find Backward Bill, Sour Face Ann, the Meehoo with an Exactlywatt, and the Polar Bear in the Frigidaire. You will talk with Broiled Face, and find out what happens when Somebody steals your knees, you get caught by the Quick-Digesting Gink, a Mountain snores, and They Put a Brassiere on the Camel.

From the creator of the beloved poetry collections Where the Sidewalk Ends and Falling Up, here is another wondrous book of poems and drawings.

Awards and Recognitions
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein has received the following awards and recognitions -

  • Buckeye Children's Book Award - 1985 Winner - Grades 6-8 category
  • Garden State Children's Book Awards - 1984 Winner - Children's Nonfiction category

Citations And Professional Reviews
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2001 page 311
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/1991 page 352
  • Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/1995 page 272
  • Wilson Children's Catalog 96 - 01/01/1996 page 380
  • Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/2000 page 267

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperCollins
Pages   167
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 7" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 9, 2005
Publisher   HarperCollins
Age  4-8
ISBN  0060256737  
ISBN13  9780060256739  
UPC  046594016959  

Availability  0 units.

More About Shel Silverstein

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Shel Silverstein is the author-artist of many beloved books of prose and poetry. He was a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist, and Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated songwriter.

Shel Silverstein died in 1999.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 9-12 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Authors & Illustrators, A-Z > ( S ) > Silverstein, Shel
3Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Classics by Age > General
4Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Classics by Age
5Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Poetry > General
6Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Poetry > Humorous
7Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Poetry > Silverstein, Shel
8Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 9-12
9Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Humor > Limericks
10Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors
11Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British > British > 20th Century
12Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States

Reviews - What do customers think about A Light in the Attic?

An inscrutable genius, writing in a language children instinctively comprehend  Mar 23, 2008
Your child just might be more capable of appreciating this marvelous book of poetry than you anticipate.

Here's our story. We had brought our child of 20 months to Disney World, at the invitation of her grandparents (my parents.) Like the doting grandparents they are, they not only generously hosted her (and us) on vacation, but they sprang for some books to surprise her with, to keep her entertained in the hotel room.

My mother had ordered A Light in the Attic based on the recommendation of the History Book Club. She phoned me after it had arrived, saying, "I think I made a mistake. I can't see any way that a child of twenty months will be interested in these Silverstein books. They're volumes of poetry collections, with only crude sketches for illustrations, and at that, not even every poem is illustrated."

When I saw the books my mother had bought, I agreed with her assessment. I myself came of age before they were published, and wasn't familiar with them. And surely our very young daughter would get nothing out of these books. Even the packaging seemed aimed at an older audience - the author's photograph is on the back cover, for goodness sake. What child is interested in that? So we showed Juliana the other books first, opening up A Light in the Attic only on the last day of the vacation.

And, indeed, a light it was. What a revelation.

The first time I read these poems to my little girl, she would not allow me to stop until I had read 50 full pages. The second time - she wouldn't let me stop until I had covered 75! About two weeks later, she actually drove me to read the ENTIRE book, cover to cover - a process that was ended only twelve pages from the end, when we were called grudgingly to dinner.

There were certain poems that I just could never get past. "Read it again!" she would exclaim after these. Even five, six consecutive readings of certain poems was not enough to satisfy.

These poems, we have found, are like uncovering a secret language that only children fully and instinctively understand. The adult who reads these books aloud may also rediscover a few forgotten preoccupations, anxieties, questions, joys and sources of humor, of long, long ago.

The appeal of these poems for our daughter has been so intense that we have spent some time wondering aloud to each other about the components of Silverstein's genius. Here are a few, admittedly untutored, thoughts:

First, there is his flair for the amusing nonsense word: our daughter particularly loves the poems that contain such gems as: "loony-goony," "sploosh," "whoosh," and "fly-hi-dee, try-hi-dee, my-hi-dee-ho."

But it's not just silly words. Indeed, unlike the Seuss books, many of the Silverstein poems have much less disciplined meter. The subject matter, in addition to the sound, is a great part of the resonant quality.

Our child especially likes the subversive, satirical poems- revealing to us that she's aware of much more than we'd realized. There's a "Knock-Knock" poem in which a "Mehoo" with an "Exactlywatt" on a chain delivers a routine that sounds like something out of Abbott and Costello. Another poem is a take-off on "One Two Buckle My Shoe." ("Buckle your own shoe!" is the first interruption.) Who would have thought that our twenty-month-old would get the jokes? But she does. These satirical poems were among those that she requested be repeatedly read, giggling every time.

Silverstein has an impressive talent for remembering and conveying the wonder and anxiety that children find in domestic settings. Again, one wouldn't think a small child yet possesses these anxieties and fascinations, but these poems have enabled us to discover that she does. In one poem, there is a polar bear lurking in the refrigerator; in another, there's an eyeball in the gumball machine (one of several ghoulish poems in the collection, which we try to skip over - she won't let us flip past that one, though); in another, the child falling asleep is tormented by the "What ifs" ("What if I don't grow taller?"); another conveys the boredom of flipping through uninteresting television channels on a weekend afternoon. Both daughter and parent connect with these.

Our daughter's other favorites include: Picture Puzzle Piece, Messy Room, Squishy Touch ("Every single thing I touch turns to raspberry Jell-O."), Eight Balloons (each of which finds a different cause to go, "POP!"), -Ations (all about conversation, communication, cooperation, reconciliation, etc.) Overdues ("What do I do? What do I do? This library book is forty two years overdue. . . ") and Hippo's Hope.

In being asked to read these poems over and over, we have grown to love them too. How could one not love the chance to read such couplets to one's child as:

"How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live `em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give `em."

Our daughter has three Silverstein volumes: This one, plus Falling Up, plus the first in the series, Where the Sidewalk Ends. Where the Sidewalk Ends is the most renowned, but A Light in the Attic is our family favorite. Perhaps our daughter loves these most because she got to know this volume first; maybe, but so far it's our favorite as well.

Silverstein's poetry has plucked responsive chords in our daughter and in the process helped us to grow closer to her. For that, we are very grateful for his inscrutable genius.

Concluding note to parents: It's not always the lavishly illustrated, sensory overload books that will most appeal to a child, even a very young child. There are other ways to more directly touch their feelings, and this book is a rare, fine example.
An amazing collection of Silverstein's illustrations, poems.  Dec 5, 2007
Next to the giving tree, this is the second most fondly remembered book of my childhood. The giving tree was read to me much earlier and more often and the strong moral message carried a deep resonance for a long time. This collection of poems was much lighter fare and entertained me for several years. There are a lot of poems and illustrations in here to tickle your childrens imaginations and help them think creatively about words. Fantastic!
As sweet as they used to be  May 24, 2007

Silverstein is our favorite author of children's books. He is just perfect! In fact his works are as good for the parents as for their children. Whichever Silverstein's book I bought for any of my five children (each one of them has his own Silverstein), we have ALL read them. That includes my children, myself, and even sometimes my husband. "Light in the Attic" is no exception to that rule. I think that all of Shel's books are equally good. Check also Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook, A Giraffe and a Half, Where the Sidewalk Ends 30th Anniversary Edition: Poems and Drawings. If you are a loving mother that wants to see smile on your child's face, give him Silverstein - it's children's literature classic and a safe bet. A recent discovery for me is Boszenna Nowiki and her series Why Some Cats are Rascals, Book 1, Why Some Cats are Rascals, Book 2, Why Some Cats are Rascals ( Book 3) with some very touching stories of speaking cats...
Excellent Book!!  May 14, 2007
I have loved this book since I was a kid. I just recently bought this to replace my old ones (which I will always keep). This book is great for people of all ages!
A really great book for children of all ages.  May 7, 2007
I love Shel Silverstein's books. I've purchased them as gifts for friends on several occasions. :-)

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