A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES by Robert Louis Stevenson

A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES

Age Range: 5 - 10
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A sumptuous reissue of the classic children’s collection.

First published in Great Britain in 1885, Stevenson’s “Garden,” Alexander McCall Smith tells readers in his enlightening new foreword, has been in print ever since. Given the privileged, white, colonialist perspective glimpsed in many of these 64 lyric poems, today’s audience may wonder what gives this volume such staying power. Stevenson’s nostalgia for the unfettered cares of childhood comes powerfully across throughout. Modern children may have a hard time envisioning his Victorian “Auntie’s Skirts” as “they trail behind her up the floor, / And trundle after through the door.” More problematically, his worldly vantage is shockingly dated at best: “Little Indian, Sioux or Crow, / Little frosty Eskimo, / Little Turk or Japanee, / O! don’t you wish that you were me?” But Stevenson’s ability to craft and describe other realms still soars, demonstrating that the imagination can transport one out of anything—illness, boredom, even loneliness. His crisp depictions of winter, causing “tingling thumbs,” and appreciation of the childhood hardship of having to go to bed in summer “When all the sky is clear and blue,” invite children of any age to “look / Through the windows of this book,” and “in another garden, play.”

Vistas real and imagined blossom again in Stevenson and Foreman’s caring hands—but caregivers will want to choose the blooms they share with care. (Poetry. 5-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-91095-910-7
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Otter-Barry
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2017




MORE BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

ChildrenTREASURE ISLAND by Robert Louis Stevenson
by Robert Louis Stevenson
ChildrenTREASURE ISLAND by Robert Louis Stevenson
by Robert Louis Stevenson
ChildrenDR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE by Robert Louis Stevenson
by Robert Louis Stevenson

MORE BY MICHAEL FOREMAN

ChildrenOH, IF ONLY... by Michael Foreman
by Michael Foreman
ChildrenKASPAR THE TITANIC CAT by Michael Morpurgo
by Michael Morpurgo
ChildrenFORTUNATELY, UNFORTUNATELY by Michael Foreman
by Michael Foreman

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenA CHILD'S TREASURY OF SEASIDE VERSE by Mark Daniel
by Mark Daniel
NonfictionROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON by Frank McLynn
by Frank McLynn