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New Shel Silverstein book slated for 2011 release: Which of his poems is your favorite?

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Image Credit: Everett CollectionThe second posthumous collection of poetry and illustrations by beloved children’s author Shel Silverstein will be released next year by HarperCollins, Publisher’s Weekly reports. The currently untitled volume will include 120-130 previously unpublished works, which are being curated by the author’s longtime editor, Antonio Markiet. There is no shortage of material from Silverstein, who died in 1999 at the age of 67. His first posthumous collection, Runny Babbit, was published by HarperCollins in 2005.

Silverstein, whose body of work includes Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up, depicted the innocence of youth in a unique and engaging way. He has remained immensely popular with children and adults due to his creative and eccentric observations about life, typically geared toward the kid in all of us.

My favorite poem has always been “Sick,” which related the elaborate lie one little girl tells her parents to avoid going to school. “I cannot go to school today, said Little Peggy Ann McKay,” she proclaims, only to discover that it is actually the weekend. “What’s that you say? You say today is…Saturday? G’bye, I’m going out to play!” Silverstein’s miniature hypochondriac captures the imagination we all had — and may still have — especially when it comes to those highly coveted chances to remain home, dodging any and all responsibilities (adults: substitute work for school?). Writing about issues of the kid world made Silverstein not only entertaining, but extremely relevant.

What about you ShelfLifers? What’s your favorite Shel Silverstein poem? Do you plan on purchasing his new collection?