A vibrant collection that introduces an Eastern European master to the West.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

A volume offers poems by one of Czechoslovakia's literary treasures.

In this new translation of a Czech classic, English speakers get a taste of one of Europe’s most underappreciated verse writers. Nezval was born in Moravia in 1900 and matriculated as a philosophy student, but his early experience with the Prague literary scene converted him to poetry and launched a remarkably prolific career. As Karen von Kunes writes in the foreword, one of the central hopes of Nezval’s school was the creation of a new “art of everyday life” that was “accessible” to the “simple man.” Kostovski’s translation preserves the clarity and simplicity of Nezval’s verse. The poet’s brief “Place du Tertre” is a good example: “My love, perhaps we both shall meet / When finally the world succeeds / To sit together chair to chair / On that one Parisian square.” Yet this seemingly straightforward quatrain yields more nuance the longer readers look. Best of all is the gnomic second line, which could logically attach either to the first—in which case the lovers will meet when the world “succeeds”—or the third, whereby the world prevails in sitting “together chair to chair.” That the meaning of this second rendering is mysterious is in keeping with another of Nezval’s influences: French surrealism. The poet knew luminaries like Breton and Eluard, and some of their enigmatic qualities seep into Nezval’s verse. Breton and Eluard, of course, are both from France, another of their Czech contemporary’s loves. Though this collection ostensibly describes a trip across Europe, the lion’s share is given to Paris. Nezval writes of his arrival there: “You were Medusa when I dreamed about you / Now here I stand, a vagrant in prime / And the smallest bit that you’re able to give / Lulls me to sleep like a drinking man’s wine.” Yet if the City of Light is this intoxicating, so is Nezval’s verse, and readers will hope to get more in English soon. It’s a shame he’s been hidden for so long.

A vibrant collection that introduces an Eastern European master to the West.

Pub Date: May 9, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-9960722-5-0

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Plamen Press

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020



From the Boynton Moo Media series

When anyone attempts to enhance and reformat a book that’s already sold more than five million copies, there’s some risk...

The iPad adaption of Boynton’s bestselling board book surveys animals and the sounds they make.

When anyone attempts to enhance and reformat a book that’s already sold more than five million copies, there’s some risk involved. What if it doesn’t translate well? Worse yet, what if it flops? Fortunately, Loud Crow Interactive and Boynton don’t have to worry about that. There’s no hint of a sophomore slump in this second installment of the Boynton Moo Media series. Much like its predecessor, The Going to Bed Book (2011), this app adapts the illustrator’s trademark creatures for iPad in a way few other developers can. The animals are fluid and pliable, which is no small feat given that they’re on a flat display. Readers can jiggle them, hurl them off screen, elicit animal sounds and in some cases make them sing (in a perfect inverted triad!). Melodic violin music accompanies the entire story, which is deftly narrated by Boynton’s son, Keith. In addition to the author’s simple yet charming prose there are little surprises sprinkled throughout that extend the wit that’s won countless babies and parents over in paper form.

Pub Date: April 19, 2011


Page Count: -

Publisher: Loud Crow Interactive

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011


A little girl reviews the seasons as they leave their impression on her garden. There is spring with the business of nest-building, summer with its abundance of roses, fall with the tangy perfume of chrysanthemum, and winter with the frozen pond surrounded by whiteness. The sensitive text and poetic illustrations of Roger Duvoisin conjure up a child's garden of stirring beauty. A book to dream over, which not only introduces the child's mind, but her senses, to a world of phenomena.

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 1960


Page Count: -

Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1960

Close Quickview