A travel book with a foreword by Hugh Hefner?! Whatever could it be? Get your minds out of the gutter and look here: Playboy’s Silverstein Around the World.
As the daughter of a children’s librarian, my interest was immediately piqued when I spied this new release, since I know of the late Shel Silverstein primarily for his famous children’s books. But it turns out the illustrator worked for Playboy for over 40 years, including a stint as a foreign correspondent.
In the ’50’s and ’60’s, the magazine sent Silverstein around the world to create a visual travelogue. His produced 23 dispatches from far-away places like Moscow, Japan and the Middle East, as well as sketches from US locales like Haight-Ashbury and White Sox training camp.
This new book celebrates the travel series and the special partnership between Hefner and Silverstein that made it happen. It’s a fitting tribute to the illustrator’s drawings, and his wry social commentary on the world at that time. A list of all his Playboy contributions can be found here.