Books, Lists, Poetry

Ten Poets You Must Read if You Love Shel Silverstein

Oh well! I tried, and tried, and tried again, and finally got my list of poets you must read if you love Shel Silverstein slimmed and trimmed it down from over 20 :). This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday did leave me a little overwhelmed but then I realized it is April soon, which is Poetry Month. So here are a few poets for you to enjoy and smile about as you read their poems for April and beyond.

I was already an adult when I first read Shel Silverstein, that is, I read his books only after moving to the US about a quarter of a century ago now. But it was love at first read! Since then, I am glad to have discovered more such writers, like Jack Prelutsky. Of course, I had read similar delightful writers prior to Silverstein as well, including Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll.

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10 Poets You Must Read if You Love Shel Silverstein

In no particular order at all, here are (according to me), 15 poets you must read if you love Shel Silverstein, or his poems, and one of their poetry books that I devoured!

Roald Dahl

I first read Dahl in 1997 when a colleague at my first job gifted me a copy of The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar and Six More – my review of this book is here. That began my Dahl journey! Since then, I have read and loved many of his books.

My poetry themed recommendation written by Roald Dahl: Revolting Rhymes with illustrations by the talented Sir Quentin Blake!

Judith Viorst

I read her books only when I got some of them for my kids and can keep reading both her storybooks and poems. The first book was of course Alexander’s Very Good Very Bad Day. And then I went on to read more of her books (fiction and poetry) for children and grownups!

My poetic recommendations by Viorst: for children and their parents: If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries: Poems for Children and their Parents. And also her books in the decades series, like this one, Forever Fifty: And Other Negotiations

Jack Prelutsky

Another writer I discovered because I got his books for my children, and while I am not sure how or why I picked up this book pictured here, I am glad I did so. Since then I have read other books by him, but this one remains my favorite.

My poetic recommendation by Prelutsky: The New Kid on the Block

Brian Bilston

I chanced upon Bilston’s poems on Facebook last year and since then I follow him on FB and have read a couple of his books. His talent awes me, and is sure to do the same to others too!

My recommendation: well, all of his books, but the one I first read is: You Took the Last Bus Home

Lucille Colandro

Lucille Colandro of ‘The Old Lady’ series is certainly witty and imaginative, as these books prove! To keep something familiar also being funny and new every time is really cool, right? As for me, I am guessing I have read all of the books by now.

Today’s recommendation, for it is trying to be spring here, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose!

Lewis Carroll

Of course Lewis Carroll has to make an appearance on such a list. One of the originals, Carroll’s poems and stories have delighted readers of all ages since they first appeared, well, ages ago!

My pick: this brilliantly illustrated edition of Jabberwocky (love this totally imaginative full of neologisms poem)

Edward Lear

Edward Lear is another natural occurrence on this list. Even without his limericks, my memories of reading The Owl and the Pussycat while in middle school (I think) established him as one of my favorite poets ever.

The Lear I love (one of those loves, I mean): The Owl and the Pussycat and Other Nonsense Poetry

Marilyn Singer

I don’t recall when I first read one of Singer’s works but her Mirror Mirror was definitely one that I read and enjoyed for its cleverness.

For this list, however, my pick is her Twosomes: cute and witty all at the same time.

Ogden Nash

How can I not love a poet who writes this about poets?!

“Poets aren’t very useful.
Because they aren’t consumeful or very produceful.”
~ Ogden Nash ~

My pick is simply to read The Best of Ogden Nash 

Brian P. Cleary

It is amazing how Brian Cleary educates and entertains with ease through his poems. His CATegorical series are really cool, as are his

My pick (hard to pick just one, but here it is): Ode to a Commode: Concrete Poems

Jennifer Lasker White

Jennifer Lasker White is the newest discovery for me on this list, and I enjoyed this book by her which reminds me a lot of Silverstein’s writing.

So my poetic pick: On the Edge With Coolhead Luke

Extra, Extra

In case you are wondering about those I skipped, a few of them are Bob Raczka, Jeff Foxworthy, Jane Yolen, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Jon Scieszka among many others.

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, which of these authors will find their way on your list of favorites, or on a similar one like this? Which writer would you add to my list (or remove)?

8 thoughts on “Ten Poets You Must Read if You Love Shel Silverstein

  1. When I have my next class with my student from Saudi Arabia I am going to share your blog with her because she loves literature.

  2. I do love Shel Silversteing and read a lot of his stories with my kids! I am also a huge fan or Roald Dahl and Cleary. Will definitely check out some of the other suggestions. Thank you!!

  3. Great topic! My art teacher used to read to us a poem from Where the Sidewalk Ends at the end of every class session. It was my copy of the book that she read from. 🙂

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