U.S. Postal Service has already announced a new batch of stamps for the U.S. Postal Service 2022 stamp program – one of them is a Forever stamp commemorating Shel Silverstein, author and illustrator.
Shel Silverstein’s Legacy
In the past, Shel Silverstein created a ton of amazing pieces for both kids and adults. Now, the U.S. Postal Service 2022 stamp program features his illustration on a Forever stamp. Designed by stamp designer Derry Noyes, it showcases a part of a cover of Silverstein's "The Giving Tree." There, the boy is holding his arms out to catch a falling apple. In the 20th century, the author (1930–1999) was one of the most prominent figures. Apart from writing, he also drew pictures to illustrate the stories. Very soon, his drawing style caught the attention of many and became a staple for most Americans. To prove that Silverstein is iconic, his Forever stamp doesn't expire at all.
Those who knew Silverstein always commented on the artist’s imagination and positivity. Judy de Torok, the Postal Service's vice president of corporate affairs and dedicating official, said that the creator has a lot of fans of different ages and backgrounds. "He could be silly or serious — and anything in between. With his witty rhymes and whimsical, nonsensical verse, it was clear that he loved to play with language. It was also clear that his many readers — young and old alike — loved him for his clever word play. His books are bestsellers, with more than 20 million copies sold in more than 47 languages," she explained.
Never Planned Being a Children's Author
Even those who didn’t spend their childhood with Silverstein’s books, love his outstanding works. Artist and author Dmitry Samarov, one of the featured speakers, stated that he appreciated the author's type of children's poetry – his writing felt familiar with playfulness and melancholy joined together. Yet, Silverstein had never dreamt of writing and illustrating for kids. “Silverstein never set out to write for children,” Samarov shared. “He worked for Playboy and wrote raunchy songs for rock bands. He only turned to art and writing at all once it became clear he wouldn't be in the starting lineup for his beloved White Sox."
Among many works of his, “The Giving Tree” definitely became a publishing hit. Out in 1964 by Harper & Row, the book is about a friendship between a tree and a boy. The two grow old together, and the tree gives the boy its benefits along the way. In the end, when the boy is elderly, he comes to rest against the tree trunk. Illustrated in a simple manner, the book captivates readers with the story of selfless love and appreciation. Other popular stories by Silverstein are "Where the Sidewalk Ends" (1974), "A Light in the Attic" (1981), "Falling Up" (1996), and "Every Thing On It" (2011). "Where the Sidewalk Ends" actually earned a Grammy Award for Best Recording for Children.
U.S. Postal Service came out with a list of other important stamps, including the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, Monument Valley on the Arizona-Utah border, an orange African daisy, and some Mariachi musicians.