Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Giraffe and a Half

A Giraffe and a Half
by Shel Silverstein/ published 1964 by HarperCollins

Who didn't idolize this guy as a kid? The Giving Tree and Missing Piece and The Lion Who Shot Back and Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book were all staples at my house. Sadly, I don't ever remember reading this one as a child, but my kid has it memorized. And what a joy to read out loud. It's so good, you almost don't have to think about reading it... the lyrical phrasing practically reads itself. The funny tale of a boy and a giraffe and all the little things that happen to them in rhyme.

If he fell in a hole that was dug by a mole...
you would have a giraffe and a half
with a rat in his hat
looking cute in a suit
with a rose on his nose
and a bee on his knee
and some glue on his shoe
playing toot on a flute
with a chair in his hair
and a snake eating cake
and a skunk in a trunk
and a dragon in a wagon
and a spike on his bike
and a whale on his tail
in a hole with a mole.

I've always admired this guy for being so cynical and real while still speaking to kids. I was even more in love when I found out he wrote the song "A Boy Named Sue". And even though his giant author photo always gave me the heeby geebies, I'd still have married him.

Also by:
Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back
Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book


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