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A Child's Garden of Verses Hardcover – February 1, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 454 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Poems Stevenson originally wrote for his children are beautifully illustrated in this appealing volume. --Yellow Brick Road --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Inside Flap

First published in 1885, Stevenson's verses so truly reflect the feelings of young children--about being small, the bliss of going up in a swing so high, discovering one's shadow, happiness and sorrow and dreaming--that they have never ceased to be an essential part of a child's library. Robinson's beautiful pictures originally appeared in 1896 in the first illustrated edition. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 67 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689823827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689823824
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (454 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Catherine S. Vodrey on July 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This classic edition of Robert Louis Stevenson's "A Child's Garden of Verses" is justly famed because it so beautifully pairs Stevenson's sometimes exuberant, sometimes melancholy poems on childhood with the extraordinary illustrations of Tasha Tudor.
Tudor's delicate watercolors complement Stevenson's work almost to the point that you think the two, living in different centuries, must share some time-travel telepathy with each other. All the classic Stevenson pieces are here: "The Swing," "The Land of Counterpane," the terrific poem about a child's shadow. Tudor depicts only children and animals herein--as it should be--without the presence of shadow of adults anywhere. Both Stevenson and Tudor understand in their bones that no matter what grown-ups may think, children inhabit a world of their own. That world is mostly beautiful, but sometimes fraught with danger or questions. Those hints are present here, but the overwhelming impression any reader will have will be that of beauty--both in words and in pictures.
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Format: Hardcover
Like many others, I first read these poems as a very young child. I didn't realise until rereading them just recently how many of them had stayed with me. The poems all deal with sounds, sights and emotions that will be familiar to most young children. And as an adult, the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson brings back that sense of wonder and amazement that many of us lose as we grow older. One of the poems that I will always remember deals with how difficult it is to go to bed when you are told in the summer when the days are long and the sun is still out. who doesn't remember this?
The illustrations in this particular edition, by Tasha Tudor, capture perfectly the childhood world of the poetry--the imagination in play is wonderfully portrayed. Remember when the space under the table became a cave, or a castle, or a spaceship? These poems and the accompanying illustrations deal with these imaginary adventures that all children share in.
Purchase this book and share it with other adults and with the children in your life. If it stays with you for the rest of your life, then you have gained a treasure.
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Format: Hardcover
This edition was a favorite of my sister and I when we were kids. RLS's poems are delightful, but Ms. Fujikawa's watercolor illustrations add such charm and lush detail... and she perfectly captured the multicultural children. I am now the family keeper of our well-worn treasure. This is the most delightfully illustrated version (in my opinion better even than the wonderful Tasha Tudor's).
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
This is a nice, extra-sturdy book for toddlers. It includes these eight complete poems: The Land of Counterpane, The Lamplighter, Happy Thought, Foreign Lands, The Cow, My Shadow, The Swing, My Bed is a Boat. Most toddlers won't sit still for the complete poems, but you can just read the first few lines until they grow into them, and they'll have fun looking at the pictures. There are various vintage illustrations in full color by different artists including one of a boy in a tree by Jessie Willcox Smith (Foreign Lands), a charming colored drawing of a Mom showing a bird to her four little ones (Happy Thought), a simple but cute picture of a little girl watching a cow (The Cow) and a picture by one of my favorite Child's Garden of Verses illustrators, Eulalie (My Bed is a Boat). Yet, the cutest picture is the one on the cover by Jessie Willcox Smith. It begs one to wonder why they didn't use her pictures for all the poems. This book is a nice size, bigger than most board books, but still small enough to be handled easily by even very young children.
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Format: Hardcover
This review is of the Chronicle Books edition (ISBN 0877016089).
First published in 1885, Stevenson's marvellous collection of children's poetry has never gone out of print, and remains near the top of numerous "best book's for childen" lists. For example, Maurice Sendak, when asked to list books that he thought every child should have the opportunity to read, named this collection first. Harold Bloom, renowned literary critic (he has received more major awards from his peers than any other) and author of the thought-provoking and controversial "The Western Canon", included ACGoV in the list he furnished in response to an interviewer's request for a "Western Canon, Jr". Among the homeschooling set, everyone from "Unschoolers" to "Classical Christian Educators" recommend it.(It"s on the Classical Christian Support Loop's "1000 Good Books List").
The Chronical Books edition, containing all 64 of the poems that appeared in the original 1885 edition, is lavishly illustrated with more than a hundred pictures, many of them full page, by several of the most distinguished children's book illustrators of the late 19th and early 20th century. The book is well laid out, with a pleasing juxtaposition of art and text, and printed on high-quality paper. It was named one of the "Top Ten Picturebooks of the Year" by Redbook, was an American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists" in 1989, and was given a starred review in Booklist.
Stevenson perfectly captures the child's world of sunshine, stars, dreams, toy boats, swings, apple tarts, fairies, flowers, and far-away places in simple, evocative language which remains just as accessable for today's children as it was for their grandparents.
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