CriticasIn this slim book, a 12-year-old poet who suffers from a rare form of muscular dystrophy shares his optimistic vision of the world and of God with childlike simplicity and yet with a wisdom that goes beyond his age. As the national goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Stepanek has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. In addition, he has received several awards for his work, including the 2002 Children's Hope Medal of Honor and the 2002 Verizon Courage award. The cheerful artwork and poetry collected here pay tribute to the human spirit and its capacity to endure and overcome hardship. Stepanek explores the reality of living with the degenerative disorder and the experience of losing his three siblings to it. Originally published in English in 2001, the book received rave reviews and rapidly became a New York Times best seller, encouraging the young writer to publish two more poetry books. This first-ever Spanish-language edition of Stepanek's special writings contains eight additional poems. Although Verger Fransoy's faithful and accurate translation has a slight peninsular Spanish tinge (in the use of the vosotros voice and such expressions as madalenas for "fairy cake" and menuda lata for "that's some nuisance"), it maintains Stepanek's casual and personal tone. Unfortunately, Verger Fransoy avoids altogether the translation of words invented by the mind of the young and dreamy writer. Phrases like "I will 'plip' off my branch" and "Summer 'Rememberies'" are admittedly hard to recreate but their translation would have given the poems a more obvious child's voice. Despite these faults, this inspirational and unusual title is recommended forthe adult inspirational and religious sections of public libraries, children's bookstore sections, and such nontraditional outlets as supermarkets and gift shops.
Liliana Valenzuela, Austin, TX Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.