Kirkus Reviews QR Code
PLATERO Y YO/PLATERO AND I by Juan Ramón Jiménez


by Juan Ramón Jiménez & translated by Myra Cohn Livingston & Joseph F. Dominguez & illustrated by Antonio Frasconi

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: April 18th, 1994
ISBN: 0-395-62365-0
Publisher: Clarion

 Selected from the 138 chapters of Platero y yo (by the winner of the 1956 Nobel Prize for Literature), 19 vignettes in the original Spanish plus Livingston's English, based on Dominguez's literal translation. These prose poems concerning JimÇnez's Andalusian village and its inhabitants are linked by the poet's affection for the little donkey Platero, sometimes an actor here and sometimes a confidant, and by the orderly passage of time--life, death, and the seasons. The book ends with a series of episodes from Christmas to Carnival. The poet scarcely reveals himself except as an observer. Of his friendship with the donkey, he remarks that ``We understand each other. I let him go wherever he wishes and always he takes me where it is I wish to go''; his lyrical descriptions of the village sights and sounds and such simple happenings as fireworks or calling to Platero in an echoing valley are vividly evocative. Even the inherently dramatic (e.g., a mother dog rescuing her pups) is so understated that it's not the event but the mood that lingers in the memory. Frasconi's handsome full-bleed woodcuts, too, center on mood and setting, their rich colors subtly muted, their expressive images like ``emotion recollected in tranquillity.'' A lovely book, for a discerning audience. (Fiction. 10+)