Abstract

This essay articulates Shel Silverstein's "Uncle Shelby" persona, historicizing its development in his music, Playboy, and early children's books. Focusing on Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book (1961) and Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back (1963), two books that first appeared in Playboy, the essay argues that the restoration of these works to their original context—and thinking about Shelby's relationship to Playboy in general—brings to the surface textual and ideological complexities that are likely overlooked in their children's book form, just as it raises provocative questions regarding Silverstein's construction of his child audience and our construction of Silverstein himself.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-1201
Print ISSN
0885-0429
Pages
pp. 25-46
Launched on MUSE
2011-02-24
Open Access
No
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