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.
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.
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
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.
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)
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?