Acclaimed author Cooper Edens brings together Robert Louis Stevenson's classic "garden of verses" and illustrations from the 18th and 19th centuries in this beautiful children's read, now in a board book edition. Eight of Stevenson's poems appear in the book -- including "The Land of the Counterpane," "The Lamplighter," and "Foreign Lands" -- all accompanied by full-color paintings from renowned illustrators, such as Bessie Collins Pease, Charles Robinson, Florence Edith Storer, and others. Parents will adore sharing Stevenson's verses with their children, taking them back to a pastoral time when life seemed simpler. In "The Cow," the narrator describes a hungry cow: "The friendly cow all red and white, / I love with all my heart: / She gives me cream with all her might, to eat with apple tart." And in "The Swing," the speaker famously asks: "How do you like to go up in a swing, / Up in the air so blue? / Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing / Ever a child can do!" Just right for a new generation of children who will quickly cherish them as much as previous readers, these timeless classics make a perfect gift that will remain in the mind and the heart forever.
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 - Jackie Hechtkopf
The first edition of this book was published without illustrations in 1885. Since then, numerous illustrators with varied styles have taken on the task of adorning Stevenson's beloved poems. This new version by Caldecott Honor artist Diane Goode is wrapped in classy floral end papers and features alternating pages of color and black-and-white illustrations. Goode's frolicking children, imaginative backgrounds, and pastel colors successfully capture the childhood wonder and joy of Stevenson's poems. An afterward by Peter Glassman gives a brief biography of Stevenson and explains why so many of the poems refer to a nurse instead of a mother. Glassman also tries to justify why another edition of this work was needed, suggesting that other illustrators have been overly sentimental while Goode's work is livelier. A home or library without this classic book should make this edition a first choice. The illustrations are absolutely delightful, as well as multiethnic and gender balanced. Yet, one still has to wonder why so much energy and effort was put forth into a work that has already been published, quite adequately, several times.
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.
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
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 5—This beautifully illustrated edition of a collection first published in 1885 is a reminder of how well many of these poems hold up. Topics range from everyday mysteries like the strong but invisible wind ("I saw the different things you did/But always you yourself you hid") to the timeless fascination of watching the world go by from a train window ("And here is a mill, and there is a river:/Each a glimpse and gone forever!"). A few of the poems show their age in interesting ways, like "Travel" ("I should like to rise and go/…Where are forests, hot as fire,/…Full of apes and coconuts/And the Negro hunters' huts—" and "Foreign Children" ("…Little Turk or Japanee/Oh! Don't you wish that you were me?"). Since there is no explanatory note in the front or end matter, here's hoping that the adults sharing these selections will provide the necessary historical context. But that's a minor quibble, especially given McClintock's charming pictures that show her beautiful line and color work, her feeling for landscape and personality, and her subtle sense of humor. As for the poems themselves, Stevenson's interest in cultivating the world of the imagination is a great message for today's busy, media-saturated culture.—Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
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?