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TO GO SINGING THROUGH THE WORLD by Deborah Kogan Ray Kirkus Star


The Childhood of Pablo Neruda

by Deborah Kogan Ray & illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 2006
ISBN: 0-374-37627-1
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Chile’s national poet and hero grew up in a small town to which the railroad brought settlers, commerce and possibilities. The newly bustling town, his loving stepmother’s fascinating stories and his sensitivity to the glories of the surrounding rainforest opened up a magical world of language for the shy, solitary stutterer and shaped and defined his gifted voice. As a teenager, he met renowned poet and Nobel Literature Prize–winner Gabriela Mistral, who recognized his talent and encouraged him to read widely. This lovely work sings along with Neruda. Ray deepens her account by judiciously interspersing her warm text with pointed excerpts from Neruda’s own autobiographical prose and gorgeous, highly personal poetry. Her gentle paintings capture Neruda’s times and world. Though young readers will be unfamiliar with the subject, relatable and sympathetic details about his boyhood will pique their interest and inspire them. The poem “Poetry,” in English and Spanish, an author’s note, more information about Neruda and Mistral and a timeline are included. (Nonfiction. 8-12)