Book looks

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

A Light in the Attic, Shel Silverstein's book of poetry for young readers released in 1981, has been re-released into a special edition with 12 previously unpublished poems.

Meet the "Exercisin' Hen," who realizes that the fattest hens are suddenly all gone from the chicken yard. And "Binky Bum," who sucks his thumb, and leaves his hand "all wet and numb."

Then there's "The Snack," a clam who grows huge in a stewpot, and turns the tables on the boy who found him: "He was oh so small -- Now he's TWELVE FEET TALL, And I'm feelin' rather blue, 'Cause he's pourin' Tabasco on my back -- I wonder what he'll do?"

A Light in the Attic -- with its 135 poems (not counting the recently added 12) -- became one of the most popular collections of verse for youngsters, spending over two years on the New York Times best-seller list. Attic joined The Giving Tree (1965) and Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974) in establishing Silverstein as an economical and irreverent creator of poems or tales for kids.

A sample of a poem in A Light in the Attic demonstrates his witty charm: " A genuine anteater," / the pet man told my dad. / Turned out, it was an aunt eater, / And now my uncle's mad! "

The poem is accompanied by one of Silverstein's distinctive line drawings: an anteater looking innocent beside an empty pair of high heels.

Along with the book's release, new video animations of Silverstein poems can be found on YouTube.