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A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert…
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A Child's Garden of Verses (original 1885; edition 1931)

by Robert Louis (Illustrated By Florence Storer) Stevenson

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4,074661,246 (4.13)1 / 82
Member:mirrordrum
Title:A Child's Garden of Verses
Authors:Robert Louis (Illustrated By Florence Storer) Stevenson
Info:Charles Scribner's Sons (1931), Hardcover
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A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (1885)

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Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
Over the years, I have heard a number of authors mention the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson, and none were more impressive than the mention and admiration of the renowned poet, W.S. Merwin. In an interview a few years ago with Bill Moyers, he recounted how his mother read to him every night. He especially loved A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. I have been coveting a copy of this collection for some time, but somehow, other things always got in the way. While wandering through the offerings of Amazon, I came across a copy illustrated by none other than the marvelous children’s book illustrator, Tasha Tudor. The book arrived today, and I dropped everything to read it aloud, as Merwin suggested. Some of these poems sounded vaguely familiar, although I cannot recall my mother reading me any poetry. She liked stories, and so did I.

This simple and endearing collection is a wonderful way to introduce children to the magic and beauty of poetry. Here is an example of one I vaguely remember from my childhood, “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 hoping 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? (10).

Another brief poem I especially liked was “Looking Forward”:

When I am grown to man’s estate
I shall be proud and very great,
And tell the other girls and boys
Not to meddle with my toys.” (18).

Of course, I would make one minor change – the last word should now be “books.” Robert Louis Stevenson’s collection,A Child’s Garden of Verses is an enchanting source for reading to children and helping them understand the beauty and playfulness of verse. The delightful illustrations by Tasha Tudor, the renowned children’s book illustrator, only adds to the experience. 5 stars.

--Chiron, 5/25/15 ( )
  rmckeown | May 30, 2015 |
Given to Ellen Stoner Perry from the Old House Play School 1951
  EllenBeu | May 10, 2015 |
Summary: A collection of poems on a variety of topics including seasons, rain, night and day, and more. Some of the poems are more complex and meant for older children.

Personal reflection: My favorite poem I read from this book was My Shadow because I liked the rhythmic style and the silliness of the poem. I think this book would help students understand there really is a vast range of topics to choose from when writing poetry.

Class use: Read a few poems out loud and ask students which ones were their favorite to get an understanding of what interests them. text set on poetry, read independently and find parts of speech
  MelissaKlatt | Apr 30, 2015 |
I'm glad I waited to review this one. I picked it up to read to my son, and his attention wandered, and he was just not up for it, and I was like "no wonder, Robert Louis Stevenson, your whole book is obviously aimed at Victorian grown-ups and their nostalgia for things like climbing trees and visiting the farm that baby Emmett hasn't even experienced yet." But my mum kept telling me how much I loved this book when I was small, and we kept reading, and over nights Stevenson worked his weirding way on both of us: Emmett (as I fancy it--let's face it, he can't even talk yet) feeling himself into the poems through the big, splashy, soft-focus fairy-pictures with their blues and greens and weird perspectives and distant horizons (and the fact is, if he doesn't know yet from farms or trees or penny-cannons, there are a lot of things here that are already part of his everyday: blocks, the rain, the moon, his little shadow, bedtime. And if the prescriptive intent behind all the "nursie" and fairyland and "ships at sea" stuff can get a little cloying--English childhood is an English garden, practice for when English children will leave to conquer and catalogue and administrate the earth!--it is certainly not that Stevenson was an overt imperialist, merely a man of his times. And the ships speak to me too, and remind me to be vigilant to the ways in which children open the door for their parents to embrace conservatism via halcyon-days sentimentality. And in fact, the overt prescriptiveness can be charming: in 2015 we are already more than primed for a statement of creed like "kids love blocks," it has moved from cliché to archetype and needs the merest oblique mention to activate our frames around it. In 1885? The sentimentalization of children as a whole was a relatively new thing; and Stevenson's way of talking about blocks as though no one has ever talked about blocks before in the history of childhood has a courtly formality: "What are you able to build with your blocks?" his opening gambit in the elaboration of the highly moral thesis "blocks are a tool of the imagination." Like, every time I get to the poem about the enigmatic rider I have to remind myself that he's not a headless horseman (although this does, of course, postdate Ichabod Crane); today he would have to be to get the kids to put down the ipad and listen, and the HH has become in fact a stock character, familiar/lovable/entirely unremarkable/not even scary. The fact that a mere headful horseguy riding by night can conjure up a world of mystery feels so fresh and sincere and simple, like drinking cold water, and if I didn't manage to avoid the curmudgeonly ipad grumbling entirely in this review, I will just say that horseman–ipad–starry night sky, it's all equally as new to my boy.

And the ultimate point here is that now the soft trundling doggerel of it is the only book he has that actually puts him to sleep and doesn't stir up the blood like Go Dog Go! and suchlike, and when you read to him from A Child's Garden he cuddles up and looks at the pictures and drifts away and he is happy. ( )
2 vote MeditationesMartini | Apr 2, 2015 |
Summary:

A Child’s Garden of Verses is a book comprised of many different short children’s poems about childhood. In this book there are sixty-six different poems that children all around the world can relate to. Many of the poems are about nature, the world and fantasy play. All written by Robert Louis Stevenson, he retells the stories of his childhood in poem form. There are poems about seasons, imaginary characters, traveling, boats, planes, bedtime, animals, nature, family, etc.

Comments (opinions/arguments):

I find this book to be very wonderful and useful because it’s simple and beautifully illustrated. Although it’s simple, the poems have a lot of depth, meaning and relation to childhood. I really like that the author wrote a wide variety of poems, ones that could be realistic and ones that are imaginary. I think this book could be really fun for children who are learning about poems because it offers poems that are very short and simple, as well as ones that are longer and more complicated. I think this book could serve as a good guide for children learning to write their own poems. I also like that all the poems are about different aspects of childhood and that they’re grouped together in different chapters. The wide variety of poems about nature, family, travel, imagination and childhood are great for children to learn about the world around them. I think this books central message is to help children become more familiar with poem styles of writing and to encourage children to use their creativity and imagination. ( )
  BrookeMattingly | Nov 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
Joni Lucas (Children's Literature)
Stevenson's poems and stories are American classics. Poems about rain, foreign lands, travel, windy nights, shadows, swings, cows, the moon and other fanciful things and places fill up this beautifully illustrated book of poems that would make a great gift for new parents. Tasha Tudor's watercolor illustrations help convey the historical flavor of Stevenson's work and conjure up images of simpler times for children. 1999 (orig. 1981), Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, $18.00. Ages All.
added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Joni Lucas
 

» Add other authors (72 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Louis Stevensonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benét, William RoseIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boswell, HildaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burd, Clara M.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Frehn, SarahIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doane, PelagieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duvoisin, RogerIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fujikawa, GyoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, EveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hassall, JoanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kinkade, ThomasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Mair, H. WillebeekIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scott, Janet LauraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Jessie WilcoxIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trimmer, GeorgeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tudor, TashaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Webbe, ElizabethIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To Alison Cunningham, from her boy.
First words
In winter I get up at night and dress by yellow candle-light.
(Little Golden Books edition)
A birdie with a yellow bill
Hopped upon the window sill,
Cocked his shining eye and said,
"Ain't you 'shamed, you sleepy-head!"
Quotations
It is very nice to think / The world is full of meat and drink / With little children saying grace / In every Christian knd of place.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689823827, Hardcover)

Here is a delightful look at childhood, written by master poet and storyteller Robert Louis Stevenson. In this collection of sixty-six poems, Stevenson recalls the joys of his childhood, from sailing boats down a river, to waiting for the lamplighter, to sailing off to foreign lands in his imagination. Tasha Tudor's watercolor paintings evoke a simpler time in the past, and celebrate two of the things she loves most -- children and nature. Her talents are the perfect match for these inspiring poems, making this a handsome gift edition that will be cherished by families for generations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:28 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A collection of poems evoking the world and feelings of childhood.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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