Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book: A Primer for Adults Only

Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book: A Primer for Adults Only

by Shel Silverstein


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Full of wit and twisted humor this notorious Shel Silverstein classic is a book you won't want your children to read!

Written for adults only, Shel Silverstein—the popular children's book author—presents a humorous satire of alphabet books filled with ABC lessons parents would never want their children to learn.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780671211486
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 09/09/1985
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 128,180
Product dimensions: 8.37(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Shel Silverstein is best known as a children’s book author who wrote and illustrated a number of bestselling books that have charmed millions of readers of all ages. Crossing many artistic boundaries, he was also a noted songwriter and an accomplished playwright. Silverstein first came to prominence in the 1950s as a cartoonist for Playboy, where he assumed the role of roving ambassador for the up-and-coming magazine. This esteemed assignment—due in no small part to his friendship with Hugh M. Hefner—was the auspicious beginning of a most amazing career. Shel Silverstein died in 1999.

Date of Birth:

September 25, 1930

Date of Death:

May 10, 1999

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois

Place of Death:

Key West, Florida


Chicago School of Fine Arts; University of Illinois (no degree)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

A is for apple

See the nice green apple.


How many nice green apples can you eat?

Make a circle around the number of nice green little apples you ate today.

1 2 3 4 7 12 26 38 57 83 91 116

B is for baby

See the baby

The baby is fat

The baby is pink

The baby can cry

The baby can laugh

See the baby play

Play, baby, play.

Pretty, pretty, baby.

Mommy loves the baby more than she loves you.

Z is for zoo

Let's go to the zoo

See all the animals!

The animals are locked inside the cages.

Poor animals!

Who will let them out???

See the elephant in the zoo. Give the nice elephant some peanut shells with pepper inside. That will be a good joke on him. Ha. Ha. Ha Ha. The elephant is mad but don't worry — By tomorrow the elephant will have forgotten all about it.

Poor hippopotomus. The hippopotumos has a bone stuck in his throat and can't get it out. Poor hipopothomus the hipopottomos has no fingers like you do. Poor hipotopomus. Say, maybe he is not a real hiptopomos after all. Maybe he is really a royal prince that has been turned into a hipopotomos by a wicked witch and when some person takes the bone out of his throat the spell will be broken and he will turn back into a prince again and give whoever did it a million dollars in gold and a horse and a castle.

See the hippopotimus in the zoo


Copyright © 1961 by Shel Silverstein

Customer Reviews

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Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book: A Primer for Adults Only 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My camp counsler read this book to us and we cracked up all the way through... I mean, Hilarious!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hilarious mock of ABC books that makes adults smile. Don't be fooled by the 'primer for adults only' on the cover, it is not pornographic or anything- just keep in mind that small children don't yet understand sarcasam and could take this book to seriously, and they wouldn't apreciate it like you could anyway. I'm giving this as a christmas gift to my brother and his wife.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so stinkin' hilarious!! My English teacher read it to our class for something a little more fun to do, and I laughed the whole way through it!! This book is great to share with friends and (older) family!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is hilarious. I love it
Guest More than 1 year ago
Read this aloud to parents who have little kids. You would NOT want to read this to kids. EXAMPLE: "E" is for "egg." "E" is also for "Ernie." Ernie is a genie that lives in the ceiling. Take an egg and throw to Ernie." Lotsa laughs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful, especially if you are a Shel Silverstein fan! I was laughing all the way though the book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is probably the funniest, coolest book That I have ever read.... You have to read it. It to cool not to read!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love the book so much i found it in the book store one day and had to buy it me and my friends still talk about it BUY IT!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like Edward Gorey, you will Love Uncle Shelby's ABZ's.
mcarper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Negative Stars! I realize this book is for adults only. I am sure their is a market out there for this type of humor but it is definitely not up my alley. I do not find it funny or amusing in any way. I am horrified that the author of one my favorite childhood books, "The Giving Tree", could have written such a disturbing book.
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't say I found this book fun. I found the potty humor a bit annoying.
drbubbles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Uncle Shelby" hates kids, wants to get them into trouble, and use them to embarrass their parents, and his method is an ABC book. Decidedly not for young children: in the first place, they wouldn't get some (most?) of the jokes (one hopes not, anyway); in the second place, it does the letters out of order; and in the third place, you don't want to risk their taking parts at face value (e.g., that coupon for the free pony). For any adult, whether she loves or hates children, whether she has some of her own or no.The language is squeaky clean (after all, "Uncle Shelby" intended it for kids), but makes allusions, that "Uncle S." wouldn't expect kids to know, to adult...um...behavior.
Yoshikawa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The funniest book I've ever come into contact with!
Shmuel510 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I just bought this book for the third time. Possibly the fourth. I don't know what happened to the copies I used to have, but I hope they've found good homes.Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book is utterly brilliant. It is among the funniest books I have ever read, and may well be the funniest, full stop. But it is also a litmus test for people with a warped sense of humor. This is for those who like their comedy dark. Those in that camp will be rolling in the aisles; those who don't either won't find it funny or will find it outright offensive.(I love that this is from the same guy who brought us The Giving Tree. Uncle Shelby was large; he contained multitudes.)
CatsPajamas10 More than 1 year ago
This Shel Silverstein book is totally irreverent, totally mad! A perfect accompaniment to the serious Silverstein you present to the child. A little something extra for Mom & Daddy. Check it out... Grammy Pammy
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