Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Child's Garden of Verses

A Child's Garden of Verses
Robert Louis Stevenson ~ Gyo Fujikawa
Grosset & Dunlap, 1957


Hope all you kids out there are staying warm this frosty February afternoon. Let me help you get toasty by stepping up on the soap box for a moment regarding poetry and children. Whether or not you, personally, are a fan of the genre, introducing it into the lives of your children is an absolute necessity. It can help them so much in understanding the rhythms of language, and, in turn, rhyming and reading. Not to mention, it acts as a window to feelings and emotions, something so important to the young emotional lives of wee ones. That said, if you buy no other book of poetry for your child, let it be Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses.... any edition. I've waxed poetic, myself, a few times on this blog of the importance of this piece of literature, and with each read I fall more and more in love with it. (My first post - on the Duvoisin version - is here.) It is perfect.

Wintertime

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.


Now that I've had my say on poetry and winter, feel free to bask in the awesome glow that is Gyo Fujikawa. Perhaps if we stare long enough into her youthful faces, we'll be able to forget about the storms and ice and cold raging outside and be heated by the glow within.

Here's hoping!

(Still available new via a Sterling reprint.)

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
A Child's Garden of Verses - Provensen edition
A Child's Book of Poems
Let's Grow a Garden
Baby Animals
Oh, What a Busy Day!
Our Best Friends
Come Follow me
Fairy Tales and Fables

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12 comments:

Chandra said...

It's so nice to see that I'm not the only one who buys and reads multiple versions of the same book/story. I have 3 Twelve Dancing Princesses, 3 Rapunzels, 3 Hansel & Gretels and more Mother Gooses and Cinderellas than I could ever count! Heh heh....

B. Streetman said...

this doesn't include these tons we've been gifted that I'm not crazy about.... does it ever end!?! i'm going to have to have another child, just to get through them all!

Books For Breakfast said...

So strange to see this today. I've had the Tasha Tudor edition for years, and came across the Gyo edition a few days ago for a buck twenty-five. I was planning on posting about it today.

Judy Elizabeth said...

I have a cute book by this author called Here I am. Beautiful work.

Chandra said...

Oh I hear ya! I have an only too and I often wonder what I'll do when she grows out of the picture book phase - although, currently, it seems like that won't happen any time soon.

A bit off topic, but have you heard of this book: http://www.amazon.com/When-Have-Little-Girl-Flip-Flop/dp/0935112456

Looks kind of fun.

Books For Breakfast said...

Instead of writing my own planned post on this book, I linked up to yours instead. Lovely.

Michelle E. said...

I'd love to see more of your poetry recommendations!

Jessica said...

I loved the Gyo "Babies" book when I was little. I sought it out to give as a baby gift, but I'm not sure anyone fully appreciates the illustrations! So it was fun to see "A Childs Garden of Verses and your appreciation of the illustrations.

A said...

I love love love A Child's Garden of Verses. I grew up reading it, and now we have several version for my son---including this one, which I got for $1 in the Half Price Books Clearance section. The illustrations are amazing.

Baby Bedding Sets said...

I can't remember the first story my parents read to me. What's always in my mind are the things my mother used to tell us, about her childhood, she don't want us to experience.

Baby Cots said...

Very beautiful post is given here about the child verses. It is useful post

Hunter Douglas said...

Childs garden of verses is described in the post here. Have a look at it

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