Monday, August 15, 2011

Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book

Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book
Shel Silverstein ~ Simon & Schuster, 1961


Though not technically a children's title, my son reads this book all the time. I've been thinking about it a lot lately as I'm reading the biography A Boy Named Shel. Which is awesome, by the way. Such an interesting man who led an incredible life. But anyways...

I received Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book as a present when I was a senior in high school from my counselor and friend, an Episcopal priest everyone just called Pope. He was an activist and a teacher and an all around inspiration... a man who was just left of ordinary, so to have received it from him was apropos.I won't quote from the book as the scans speak for themselves, so you'll get the gist. (I wish I could just scan the whole darn thing, every page is more awesome than the one before it!)
Written decades before the current wunder-book Go the F*ck to Sleep, the tongue and cheek humor here finds ways for children to make their parents insane, all the while laughing and giggling at the absurdity of adolence, parenthood and life itself.

Words and pictures that reflect a man who lived life out loud and was hugely successful just being himself. Every artist's dream, no? Shel was able to make us laugh, cry and even get grossed out, often all in the same breath.

If you have an extra five minutes today, watch this little bit of history. After reading his bio, Shel would definitely receive an invite to my dream dinner party. (He could sit between Jim Henson and Jimmy Carter!)



Also by:
A Giraffe and a Half
Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back

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4 comments:

jennyonthespot said...

I have this book. I LOVE this book. LOVE it. SO tickled to see you shared it here. GREAT, hilarious... love this book so much!

Adam Norwood said...

Yes! Uncle Shelby! My dad bought me this book when I was in 4th grade, and I consider it a landmark of my early-warped sense of humor. I loved it then, and I love it now. Even if I totally fell for the "G is for Gigolo" joke, not knowing the word until a few years later when I earnestly put it down as a "musical instrument" when playing Scattergories with some family friends... (Mean ol' Uncle Shelby!)

Ms. ∆×∆p×≥h/4π said...

Super Post Vintage Mom--and here's one for you re "Searching for the lost, but once published stories of Dr. Seuss, Charles Cohen unearthed..." (not a kid book precisely, but certainly of interest to the collector)--http://therumpus.net/2011/08/not-lost-then-lost-and-found/

allhomosapienswelcome said...

I can definitely see Ze Frank narrating this. It would be a perfect match.

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