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Shel Silverstein: A Man of Many Talents



Shel Silverstein: A Man of Many Talents
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.23

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    light-hearted, publication, witty, literature, successful, beloved, editor, lousy, recording, songwriter, unique, cartoonist, composer, writing, storyteller, adult
     content words:    Shel Silverstein, Pacific Stars, Lion Who Shot Back, Giving Tree, Johnny Cash, Academy Award, Grammy Award, Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up


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Shel Silverstein: A Man of Many Talents
By Brandi Waters
  

1     Shel Silverstein will always be remembered as one of the great talents in children's writing. His stories and poems have delighted readers for many years. His stories are both silly and serious. His poems are simple but also witty. It is no wonder that children love his work. It is often fun and light-hearted, but it also gives you something to think about. Shel Silverstein may have become famous for the things that he wrote for children, but he was a man of many talents. He was a true artist. He enjoyed working on many different kinds of projects. He was also quite successful with many of his projects outside of children's literature.
 
2     Shel Silverstein was born in Chicago in 1932. He grew up as many young boys do, dreaming of becoming a baseball player. He wished that he could be more popular with the girls. He didn't have the skills of a baseball player. He was a lousy dancer. Instead, Shel started to draw and write. It was something that he enjoyed. He kept working and began to learn what he liked doing best and what his strengths were. He created his own style. It made his work unique.
 
3     As a young man, Shel Silverstein traveled to Japan and Korea as a soldier. During his free time, he drew cartoons for an Army magazine, The Pacific Stars and Stripes. After returning home, that grew into a career as a cartoonist for adult magazines. In the early 1960s, a friend convinced him to send a story to a respected children's book editor. It was that suggestion that started Shel Silverstein's career in children's literature. His first book, Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back was published in 1963. That book soon led to more. His next book, The Giving Tree, was a story that had been four years in the making. Shel had sent it to several publishers. They all loved it, but no one wanted to publish it. Some thought it was too sad. Others just didn't know what to do with it. After the publication of Lafcadio, The Giving Tree was finally published. It was a great success. Adults and children alike have grown to love The Giving Tree.

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