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A Child's Garden of Verses

A Child's Garden of Verses

3.4 65
by Robert Louis Stevenson

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This classic treasury by Robert Louis Stevenson invites children to take their first steps into the immense world that lies before them. Illustrated with more than 100 pictures by the most distinguished children's book illustrators of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this stunning edition brings together some of the world's best-loved poems and most enchanting


This classic treasury by Robert Louis Stevenson invites children to take their first steps into the immense world that lies before them. Illustrated with more than 100 pictures by the most distinguished children's book illustrators of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this stunning edition brings together some of the world's best-loved poems and most enchanting art.

Lavishly illustrated, this collection contains all the poems that appeared in the original edition published more than a century ago. Children's imaginations can roam freely through simple, evocative verses that explore the wonders of exotic lands, the magic of day passing into night, the sheer joy of swinging through the sun-filled air, and the coziness of dreaming in front of a fire on a winter's night. The pictures, brimming with color and lush detail, brilliantly capture this universal splendor of a child's imaginative world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rendered in brilliant candy-shop colors, Joanna Isles's folk-art designs, whimsical characters and striking typestyles put a beguiling face on a beloved work: Abrams's edition of Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses glows with charm and vitality.
Publishers Weekly
A plethora of poetry books arrive just in time for National Poetry Month. Now available in a board book edition, A Child's Garden of Verses, compiled by Cooper Edens, pairs eight of Robert Louis Stevenson's poems with turn-of-the-century illustrations to captivate a child's imagination. For instance, "Happy Thought" ("The world is so full of a number of things,/ I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings") is embedded like a placard within a pen-and-ink by E. Mars (1900), while opposite, a 1940 illustration by Ruth Mary Hallock depicts a happy assembly of children and kittens, gathering for a snack break after a game of croquet. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Sylvia Firth
A whole new generation of children and their parents will delight in discovering this reissue of Stevenson's poetry. Where else can one find such an excellent description of a child enjoying a ride on a swing, having fun with his/her shadow, erecting a wondrous city made of blocks, or sharing time with an imaginary playmate. The whole world opens up in such poems as "Foreign Lands," "Picture Books in Winter," and "My Bed is a Boat." A child's imagination is perfectly portrayed in "The Little Land" as the little boy closes his eyes and goes sailing off to the forest and fairyland and eventually returns home. The illustrations in both black-and-white sketches and full color perfectly capture the mood and action of each poem. Every picture is filled with details to enhance the words that illuminate the timelessness of childhood. A copy of this title should be in every collection, both in libraries and homes. Reviewer: Sylvia Firth
Children's Literature
These classic poems and the equally classic illustrations have been repackaged in a board book format. The poems are fairly complex even for an older reader and the idea that they will be appreciated and understood by children under the age of four seems to be a bit of a stretch. Perhaps the soothing sounds are sufficient and perhaps it is never too soon to introduce complex language, but I do think children of this age will get a lot more enjoyment out of simple nursery rhymes. This board book, in my opinion is really not one I would select for young children. It may be quite useful in programs where children who are older cannot handle regular books and it may even appeal to grandparents and great-grandparents who enjoy looking at the pictures created nearly 100 years ago. 2004 (orig. 1989), Chronicle Books, Ages 6 mo. to 4.
—Marilyn Courtot
From the Publisher
This 'Child's Garden' is a coffee-table book for children or the grown-ups who love them. (Boston Herald -- Sunday Edition)

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
File size:
13 MB
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
6 - 7 Years

Read an Excerpt

Bed in Summer

In winter I get up at night

And dress by yellow candle-light.

In summer quite the other way,

I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see

The birds still hopping on the tree,

Or hear the grown-up people's feet

Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,

When all the sky is clear and blue,

And I should like so much to play,

To have to go to bed by day?

Meet the Author

Throughout his life, Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was tormented by poor health. Yet despite frequent physical collapses—mainly due to constant respiratory illness—he was an indefatigable writer of novels, poems, essays, letters, travel books, and children’s books. He was born on November 13, 1850, in Edinburgh, of a prosperous family of lighthouse engineers. Though he was expected to enter the family profession, he studied instead for the Scottish bar. By the time he was called to the bar, however, he had already begun writing seriously, and he never actually practiced law. In 1880, against his family’s wishes, he married an American divorcée, Fanny Vandegrift Osbourne, who was ten years his senior; but the family was soon reconciled to the match, and the marriage proved a happy one.All his life Stevenson traveled–often in a desperate quest for health. He and Fanny, having married in California and spent their honeymoon by an abandoned silver mine, traveled back to Scotland, then to Switzerland, to the South of France, to the American Adirondacks, and finally to the south of France, to the South Seas. As a novelist he was intrigued with the genius of place: Treasure Island (1883) began as a map to amuse a boy. Indeed, all his works reveal a profound sense of landscape and atmosphere: Kidnapped (1886); The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886); The Master of Ballantrae (1889).In 1889 Stevenson’s deteriorating health exiled him to the tropics, and he settled in Samoa, where he was given patriarchal status by the natives. His health improved, yet he remained homesick for Scotland, and it was to the “cold old huddle of grey hills” of the Lowlands that he returned in his last, unfinished masterpiece, Weir of Hermiston (1896).Stevenson dies suddenly on December 3, 1894, not of the long-feared tuberculosis, but of a cerebral hemorrhage. The kindly author of Jekyll and Hyde went down to the cellar to fetch a bottle of his favorite burgundy, uncorked it in the kitchen, abruptly cried out to his wife, “What’s the matter with me, what is this strangeness, has my face changed?”—and fell to the floor. The brilliant storyteller and master of transformations had been struck down at forty-four, at the height of his creative powers.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
November 13, 1850
Date of Death:
December 3, 1894
Place of Birth:
Edinburgh, Scotland
Place of Death:
Vailima, Samoa
Edinburgh University, 1875

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XChild's Garden of Verses 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book as a child and read my copy to my own children. Somewhere along the way I lost my book. When my first grandchild was born nine years ago, I tried to find it again in the bookstores. It was not available and I turned to another, similar book. It is not nearly as good. I am thrilled to find "A Child's Garden of Verses" again. It is wonderful literature and our children today need that. I can still recite some of the poetry even after all these years. Kudos--don't ever let it go out of print.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This poetry is not only for children to read, but also for them to relate to and learn from. All children should own this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Poems are perfectly chosen words which are a pleasure to read. Writing them is a true art and Robert Louis Stevenson is able to perfect this art by remembering his own childhood. These poems were written between 1881 and 1884. This is a selection from the most popular collection of poems about childhood in the English language. Each poem is accompanied by evocative paintings, which are as vibrant as the words in each poem. The paintings are impressions of color and light and show children and a few animals on beautiful canvases of cities, gardens, meadows and seas. The poems are about flying kites, cows which give cream to enjoy with apple-tart, flowers where fairies live, children sitting in the warm sun, children on a swing, children playing with toy boats and children playing in gardens who will never grow up as they are frozen in time in the beautiful pictures. Here is an example of part of the first poem in the book. THE WIND I saw you toss the kites on high And blow the birds about the sky; And all around I heard you pass, Like ladies skirts across the grass- What lovely poems to share with a child. Highly recommended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was read to me as a child, I in turn read it to my sister, then to my children. Twenty years later, I am buying one for my first grandchild! I have searched resale shops and libraries for the very edition I had as a child, and this is it! I remember all the wonderful illustrations and poems so well. Looking at the pictures and words brings back so many fond memories and I can't wait to pass that on to my grandchild!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite children's book because it grows with a child. An infant loves to be read poetry because of the cadence, a toddler likes hearing familiar words, and an older child enjoys the story. The poetry is classic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My mother read this book to my brothers and I. I am now reading it to my daughter. I read several poems to my 13 mo. old daughter every night. The rhythm of each verse calms her and gets her ready for bedtime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased the hardbound version of this book from B&N and this is just a beautiful book. I tend to read several pages a night with my four year old. We love the illustrations by Gyo Fujikawa and would recommend many other books that she did. Of course, Robert Louis Stevenson’s poems are classic and a wonderful introduction to poetry for the very young. I will be giving this version as a gift to other parents of young children who enjoy reading together.
Reanna Schultheis More than 1 year ago
Awsome book for people of all age's.
Gardenseed More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book - from preschool through perhaps the first two or three grades. Nowadays older children read adventure, suspense, and the like. If they have been introduced to Stevenson's poetry as young children, they will continue to love it, but in 5th grade they are too sophisticated to love the poems simply for what they are, and too young and immature to appreciate them their philosophy of life and simple beauty.  I would say, try again when you are in senior high school or college  from an entirely different perspective. Tasha Tudor's illustrations are uniquely beautiful. Give this book as a gift to a little kid - or to yourself!
gramieGF More than 1 year ago
The modern illustrations give this comprehensive collection of Robert Louis Stevenson poems a more identifiable connection for contemporary readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All around great book for the price its offered at.
TravelinT More than 1 year ago
I had this book when I was a kid...a long long time ag
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AliM268 More than 1 year ago
This is an old classic and full of lovely poems that I remember as a child. The illustrations are old fashioned and charming. I bought this for my 8 year old daughter who loves poetry, and I enjoy reading them with her. It's a lovely book, it would make a great gift.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very cute collection of poems and rhymes if one has the patience to work around messy pages. It took several pages before i found the pattern and could read the poems that were transferred correctly into the e-book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice illustrations and layout. I purchased this for my granddaughter but I am thinking of saving it for another year. I think 6 years is young enough to share this classic with children - because of the vocabulary. I consider it a classic that every child should own. This is a charming edition.
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