Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Every Thing On It

Every Thing On It

Shel Silverstein
For ages 6 to 8
HarperCollins, 2011   ISBN: 978-0061998164

Have you ever ordered a hot dog with everything on it? Perhaps you have and have experienced a hot dog loaded down with chili and onions and cheese and relish and…. Perhaps you even liked it. But, what would you have done if you ended up with a hot dog with literally everything on it? Everything including a parrot, a rake, a fiddle, and a front porch swing? Probably you would have refrained from making such an order again.

In this wonderful collection of poems, there is a little bit of everything. There is the poem about the person who orders a hot dog with everything on it. Then we hear from a dentist who invented “trick or treat” so that children could fill their mouths with all kinds of sweet treats that would, ultimately, lead to them having to visit the dentist. Rather a clever trick don’t you think?

We also meet a genie who, instead of granting wishes to the child who opened his magic flask, is a “meanie.” The genie is the one who tells the child what to do instead of the other way round, and the poor little girl labors all week long cleaning, cooking, and washing the genie’s “yucky undies.”

Then there is the person who has a dreadful disease called lovetobutcants. This is an affliction that makes it impossible for the person to help put out the garbage can, carry a bag of groceries, cut grass and hedges, paint, wash dishes, and close doors. In fact the person cannot do anything that could be considered a chore. Though the person would “love to join the work,” the disease simply does not allow it.

There is the kind of collection that readers can dip into at will. No matter where the reader begins there is always something on the page that will amuse and delight. Amusing stories, funny descriptions, and goofy characters fill this book, and the poems therefore serve as the perfect panacea for a case of the blues or blahs.