Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Child's Garden of Verses

A Child's Garden of Verses
Robert Lewis Stevenson
pictures by Alice and Martin Provensen
Simon and Schuster, 195

I could wax poetic forever (and have) about Stevenson's classic verses (not to mention Treasure Island... man, oh, man is the boy digging that), but this time I'll just give a solemn nod to the genius and be on about other things... namely the always wonderful Provensen pair.

They represent everything cool about the illustration of the 50s and 60s. I've mentioned that one of my all time favorite books as a child was Funny Bunny (fear not, the bunny is slated for Update Wednesday tomorrow, so I'm sure to add a ton of scans), and although I didn't have this one, it's a wonderful version of a book every child MUST have on their bookshelves in one form or another.

I have a copy of the original in terrible shape as well as the latest 1999 reprint. As with so many facsimiles, the drawings do not translate as well into the reprint, and some of the more dated pictures have been cut... And I'm always despondent when a book goes from matte to glossy. Still, whatever the form, it's a lovely treasure to have...The pictures are a delight. So many things to say about their darling perfection. Simple lines and geometric shapes... wonderful colors and background textures.Page after page of knockout eye candy. Whew. Before I pass out from awesome, I'll leave you with this...The Land of Nod

From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do,
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.

The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.

Also by:
A Child's Garden of Verses - Ruhman edition
A Child's Garden of Verses - Wildsmith edition
A Child's Garden of Verses - Duvoisin edition
Roses are Red. Are Violets Blue??
Funny Bunny
Fireside Book of Folk Songs
The Mother Goose Book
Animal Fair
My Little Hen
Our Friends at Maple Hill Farm


Read along on Facebook, tumblr, Twitter and Etsy


Laura Ottina said...

Fantastic. I really need to get this book. I especially love the big dipper illustration!

Andy said...

This one is on my "to-get" list. Alice and Martin Provensen were an amazing illustration duo. Thanks for the post!

Unknown said...

I must say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog. What a fasinating thing books are! Thanks for the #FF nod... always enjoy your tweets. Now Following your blog.

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Chandra said...

This book is a lot of fun - we have the Tasha Tudor version, but this one is mighty tempting!

Eugen Slavik said...


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