Shel Silverstein (September 25, 1930 - May 10, 1999) was an American poet, songwriter, musician, composer, cartoonist, screenwriter, and author of children's books. He was also known as "Uncle Shelby".
Silverstein claimed he never studied the poetry of others, and therefore developed his own style. His style was laid-back and conversational, occasionally employing profanity and recent slang. He wrote with an unaffected, un-self-conscious manner that kept attention focused on the subject matter, not the language. Silverstein believed that written works needed to be read on paper, and with the correct paper for the work. He usually would not allow his poems or stories to be published unless he could choose the type, size, shape, and color of the paper himself. Being himself a book collector, he took the feel and look - the paper, the type, the binding - of his titles very seriously. He did not allow his books to be published in paperback, but this doesn't seem to have affected his popularity: his books sold at least 14 million copies.