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THE SWING by Robert Louis Stevenson


by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Julie Morstad

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-897476-48-2
Publisher: Simply Read Books

A board-book version of Stevenson's classic poem with retro illustrations.

"How do you like to go in a swing, // Up in the air so blue? // Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing / Ever a child can do!" begins this ode, one of the poet's best-loved poems from A Child’s Garden of Verses. Morstad's paintings, reminiscent of Gyo Fujikawa’s work, feature a multiracial cast of children flying on swings in various bucolic settings. Her throwback color palette, of yellow-greens paired with pale pinks on dark backgrounds, and the classic clothes worn by the youngsters in each scene blend well with Stevenson's more formal language. The youngest readers may have a difficult time relating to the images (the swings depicted are not the enclosed baby swings with which they are familiar, and the recognizable A-shaped swing frame almost always appears off the page), but older toddlers should be able to make the visual leap. The cover is a little dark and the girl a little serious, so here's hoping prospective readers will take a look inside.

The joy within repays daring readers amply. (Board book. 2-4)