|Although Shel Silverstein was a successful cartoonist, playwright, and singer/songwriter, he is probably best known for his children's books, which include several poetry collections as well as the classic picture book THE GIVING TREE. He began his career, however, when, as a member of the armed forces, he worked as a cartoonist for the military newspaper Stars and Stripes. When Silverstein ended his military career, he began cartooning for Playboy magazine, and his work for that publication resulted in several published collections of his cartoons, including PLAYBOY'S TEEVEE JEEBIES. As a playwright, Silverstein was a frequent collaborator of screenwriter/novelist/playwright David Mamet and together they wrote the screenplay for the 1988 film THINGS CHANGE. As a songwriter, Silverstein wrote "A Boy Named Sue"--a song made famous by Johnny Cash. Silverstein's song "I'm Checkin' Out," which was performed by Meryl Streep in the 1991 film POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE, was nominated for both a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award. Silverstein was encouraged to create works for children by his friend, illustrator Tomi Ungerer. Silverstein's collections of children's poetry (which include WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS and A LIGHT IN THE ATTIC), feature short, humorous poems accompanied by his own black-and-white line drawings. They are often considered to be among the most popular works of poetry for children.