A movingly illustrated selection of Frost’s verse.
In this newest in the Poetry for Kids series, illustrator Paraskevas and novelist, poet, and biographer Parini (Robert Frost: A Life, 2000, etc.) serve up the work of Robert Frost. All of the poems selected highlight Frost’s thematic use of weather and nature, the transition of the seasons to, as Parini says in his introduction, “deliver a nugget of truth that stays with you long after you put the poem down.” “Earth’s the right place for love: / I don’t know where it’s likely to go better,” writes Frost in “Birches,” with his characteristic clear declamation that also carries several layers of meaning beneath. What emerges from this careful selection of largely pastoral poems is the rapt intimacy of Frost’s work, his rare ability to collapse the distance between speaker and readers through a metaphor plain as a “tree at my window” or a “hushed October morning mild.” Paraskevas’ paintings, brimming with texture and so vividly rendered, occasionally overwhelm the typeface yet deftly harness not only the poetic setting, but movement Frost describes, as in “To the Thawing Wind,” in which the speaker’s incantation to the “loud Southwester!” is indicated with billowing curtains as it wreaks chaos on the writer’s desk.
Children will devour these suggestive illustrations as instructors help them unpack the many lessons to be gleaned from Frost’s conversational yet complex verse. (glossed terms in margins, notes, index) (Picture book/poetry. 10-14)