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WHEN I WAS A BOY NERUDA CALLED ME POLICARPO by Poli Delano

WHEN I WAS A BOY NERUDA CALLED ME POLICARPO

By Poli Delano (Author) , Manuel Monroy (Illustrator) , Seán A. Higgins (Translator)

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-88899-726-4
Publisher: Groundwood

Chilean poet Délano recalls his childhood contact with the eccentric Nobel Prize–winning poet Pablo Neruda in this unusual memoir. The son of Chilean diplomats living in Mexico during WWII, he was eight when his parents lived with Neruda and his wife Delia. “My childhood memories are filled with the things that happened during those days—my adventures with Tío Pablo,” writes Poli. A larger-than-life figure, Neruda impresses young Poli with his unusual tastes and political opinions. On one occasion, Neruda’s pet badger, El Niño, attacks Poli, and he observes Neruda eating grasshoppers, worms and ants. On a trip to Acapulco, Neruda gives Poli goggles, so he can explore underwater flora and fauna. He witnesses Neruda’s anti-fascist politics when they encounter insolent Germans in a restaurant. But Neruda also teaches Poli the meaning of fate and competition. Deceptively simple tan-and-grey illustrations evoke the wartime era. This very personal and engaging account captures the childlike fantasy and enthusiasm of a literary giant while introducing readers to a sampling of his poems. (prologue, biographical note) (Biography. 8-10)