Falling Up

Book review by
Peter Lewis, Common Sense Media
Falling Up Book Poster Image
Silverstein has childhood covered like a rug.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Silverstein makes infrequent forays into bathroom humor, nose picking, and regurgitation.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the art in this book is inviting, and the style and economy of the writing, plus the subject matter, hold children's interest.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bythehandyman December 13, 2016

Derranged, suggestive, and dark.

If you don't want your child's young innocent mind exposed to witchcraft, nudity, hypnosis, tattoos and violence then this isn't the book for you... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 3, 2011


The book may be one of the installments of a perfect kids series, but it's not that good of a book and also the most inappropriate installment. The book ha... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old January 6, 2010
i really loved this book!!!! at some points in Falling Up, it was sad and yet some of the poems i didnt realy get bu a lot of the poems were VERY funny!!!!!!!!

What's the story?

Shel Silverstein is on the loose with wise, witty, unconventional verse and electrifying line drawings. From thoughtful observations to bathroom humor, Silverstein has childhood covered like a rug. His insight and humor make this a favorite for adults as well as children.

Is it any good?

This book's expressive verse and narrative line drawings make a good match. A little girl bends over and looks through her legs: "Upside-down trees swingin' free, / Buses float and buildings dangle; / Now and then it's nice to see / The world--from a different angle." Another little girl looks right and left before crossing the street, while her tentative sense of safety is about to be erased by a falling safe.

Sometimes it's Silverstein's indecorum that lights up the page: "We gave you a chance / To water the plants. / We didn't mean that way-- / Now zip up your pants." The verse is quick and economical, the spirit unconventional, and the voice unique and distinctly American.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the poetry and language in this book. Does writing conjure up vivid images? What are some of your favorite passages, and why?

Book details

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