Shel Silverstein

September 25, 1930, Chicago, IL - May 10, 1999

Born in Chicago, Illinois on September 25, 1930, Shel Silverstein enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1950 and served in Korea and Japan, he became a cartoonist for Stars & Stripes magazine. After his time in the Army was up, he soon began drawing cartoons for magazines such as Look and Sports Illustrated, but it was his work for Playboy magazine that began garnering Silverstein national recognition. Silverstein's cartoons appeared in every issue of Playboy, riding the high-point of its popularity, from 1957 through the mid-1970s.

In 1963, Silverstein met Ursula Nordstrom, a book editor, and she convinced him to begin writing thimgs for children. Uncle Shelby's Story of Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back would be the first, appearing that same year. The next year, he wrote two: A Giraffe and a Half and The Giving Tree, which would go on to become Silverstein's most popular book.

Hug O'War
from the book "Where the Sidewalk Ends" (1974)

I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.