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A Child's Garden of Verses (Scribner's Illustrated Classics)

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"Why", said a child listening to Stevenson's poems, "he did all the things we do!" These famous poems of remembered childhood owe much of their luminous understanding of children's play and imagination to the kind of childhood spent by Stevenson. A delicate child, kept indoors during winter by his health, he learned to notice all the things about him and to live in a world "Why", said a child listening to Stevenson's poems, "he did all the things we do!" These famous poems of remembered childhood owe much of their luminous understanding of children's play and imagination to the kind of childhood spent by Stevenson. A delicate child, kept indoors during winter by his health, he learned to notice all the things about him and to live in a world of imagination. In bed he listened to stories told by Alison Cummings, his nurse, and he looked out at the cold gray streets to see other children play or to watch, with fascination, the lamplighter coming to the particular street light near his house. Summer was a more joyous time, for then Louis could be out-of-doors, and his poems of outdoor play reflect the keen joy of haymaking, sailing boats, playing in the meadow with his cousins. Indeed, this is an ideal book to read aloud either in the winter or in the summer when children are sharing these outdoor joys. One feature of Stevenson's poems that is sometimes forgotten is their humor. A gentle, satiric humor is in such small gems as: "A child should always say what's true, And speak when he is spoken to, And behave mannerly at table: At least as far as he is able."


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"Why", said a child listening to Stevenson's poems, "he did all the things we do!" These famous poems of remembered childhood owe much of their luminous understanding of children's play and imagination to the kind of childhood spent by Stevenson. A delicate child, kept indoors during winter by his health, he learned to notice all the things about him and to live in a world "Why", said a child listening to Stevenson's poems, "he did all the things we do!" These famous poems of remembered childhood owe much of their luminous understanding of children's play and imagination to the kind of childhood spent by Stevenson. A delicate child, kept indoors during winter by his health, he learned to notice all the things about him and to live in a world of imagination. In bed he listened to stories told by Alison Cummings, his nurse, and he looked out at the cold gray streets to see other children play or to watch, with fascination, the lamplighter coming to the particular street light near his house. Summer was a more joyous time, for then Louis could be out-of-doors, and his poems of outdoor play reflect the keen joy of haymaking, sailing boats, playing in the meadow with his cousins. Indeed, this is an ideal book to read aloud either in the winter or in the summer when children are sharing these outdoor joys. One feature of Stevenson's poems that is sometimes forgotten is their humor. A gentle, satiric humor is in such small gems as: "A child should always say what's true, And speak when he is spoken to, And behave mannerly at table: At least as far as he is able."

30 review for A Child's Garden of Verses (Scribner's Illustrated Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cecily

    "Everything was grey. There wasn't any colour. It was all up to my imagination.” Brian Wildsmith, artist, on his childhood. Image: Summer Sun This review is an excuse to share some of the startling and colourful illustrations that Wildsmith crafted for this 1966 edition (words here). A truly wild smith. I can’t imagine what Robert Louis Stevenson would make of them, but I hope he would appreciate the edge they give to his words. Image: The Cow The poem leaves me cold, but the happy cow in her bucolic "Everything was grey. There wasn't any colour. It was all up to my imagination.” Brian Wildsmith, artist, on his childhood. Image: Summer Sun This review is an excuse to share some of the startling and colourful illustrations that Wildsmith crafted for this 1966 edition (words here). A truly wild smith. I can’t imagine what Robert Louis Stevenson would make of them, but I hope he would appreciate the edge they give to his words. Image: The Cow The poem leaves me cold, but the happy cow in her bucolic meadow, I love. The poems are mostly delightful. Many are familiar from repetition in my childhood, then to my child. We had plenty of other books of rhymes, but it was primarily the extravagant illustrations that drew me repeatedly to the pages, and the words I learned so well. Image: The Land of the Counterpane I think this made me something of a hypochondriac as a child - though I’m quite the reverse as an adult. When I’ve seen modern editions, they’re invariably illustrated with competent, sometimes lovely pictures, but they're safe and predictable. Just what you expect for a cosy Victorian classic. Image: Armies in the Fire I loved pareidolia long before I knew there was a word for it; perhaps this is why? I think the dissonance of Wildsmith’s pictures and Stevenson's verses add the vibrant joy and confusing kaleidoscope of childhood, and sometimes add modern relevance to the words themselves. Image: Whole Duty of Children A dry Victorian instruction with a subversive twist. The child is always clearly recognisable, a character to identify with, but the backgrounds are often more abstract. There are echoes of Klimt, Turner, Miro, and Matisse, yet they are very much Wildsmith’s own. Image: Looking-Glass River An example where the words do little for me, but the picture is lush. My Favourite I was a tomboy, who loved cars, tractors, and trains. This was my favourite poem, and as an adult, I think the words, rhythm, and imagery are superb. You can't read it slowly, nor should you: Faster than fairies, faster than witches, Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches; And charging along like troops in a battle All through the meadows the horses and cattle: All of the sights of the hill and the plain Fly as thick as driving rain; And ever again, in the wink of an eye, Painted stations whistle by. Here is a child who clambers and scrambles, All by himself and gathering brambles; Here is a tramp who stands and gazes; And here is the green for stringing the daisies! Here is a cart run away in the road Lumping along with man and load; And here is a mill, and there is a river: Each a glimpse and gone forever! Image: From a Railway Carriage Then I went to Tate Britain for the first of many times (probably around seven years old) and saw this. The two are forever, happily, linked in my mind: Image: Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway, by JMW Turner The Verses See Ted's excellent review, HERE, which is what prompted me to get out my copy and post this. All the poems are free on Gutenberg, HERE.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    Had this since I was three and refound the same copy in a drawer. What a wonderful amazing book. The BEST BOOK FOR YOUNG CHILDREN EVER! sublime brilliant poetry evokes my own childhood and thew eternal wonder of the mind of a child. Exquisite colour illustration of beautiful children and other wonderful things. the pride of English children's literature If you have young children please purchase this treasure now xxxx a sample “ Years may go by, and the wheel in the river Wheel as it wheels for us, ch Had this since I was three and refound the same copy in a drawer. What a wonderful amazing book. The BEST BOOK FOR YOUNG CHILDREN EVER! sublime brilliant poetry evokes my own childhood and thew eternal wonder of the mind of a child. Exquisite colour illustration of beautiful children and other wonderful things. the pride of English children's literature If you have young children please purchase this treasure now xxxx a sample “ Years may go by, and the wheel in the river Wheel as it wheels for us, children, to-day, Wheel and keep roaring and foaming for ever Long after all of the boys are away. Home for the Indies and home from the ocean, Heroes and soldiers we all will come home; Still we shall find the old mill wheel in motion, Turning and churning that river to foam. You with the bean that I gave when we quarrelled, I with your marble of Saturday last, Honoured and old and all gaily apparelled, Here we shall meet and remember the past.”

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    A Child's Garden of Verses is a collection of poetry aimed at young children though due to the latent racism and views on British supremacy, I would not recommend it to a young impressionable reader. Robert Louis Stevenson was a very versatile writer; he delved deep into the human psyche when he wrote The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde but he did not restrict himself to representations of the gothic and the persecuted. He also wrote brilliant children's adventure stories such as Trea A Child's Garden of Verses is a collection of poetry aimed at young children though due to the latent racism and views on British supremacy, I would not recommend it to a young impressionable reader. Robert Louis Stevenson was a very versatile writer; he delved deep into the human psyche when he wrote The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde but he did not restrict himself to representations of the gothic and the persecuted. He also wrote brilliant children's adventure stories such as Treasure Island and Kidnapped, but, again, he did not restrict himself to prose writing because here he demonstrates his ability to write poetry. In the fashion of William Blake's The Songs of Innocence and Experience, Stevenson's poetry has a certain deceptive quality. Like Blake's writing, it looks very simple on the surface. The style employed hides the nature of the poetry. The diction is very straight forward, but if you scratch the surface of the poetry and consider the meanings of the words in a wider context you will see exactly what I mean. It is very important to note the era in which Stevenson wrote these verses; he was a Victorian and as such there are some latent views regarding race that would be considered slightly risqué by today's standards. For example Stevenson celebrates British identity with an attempt at humour, though unfortunately it is at the expense at everything foreign. I would hesitate to recommend this book to children due to the nature of its representations of everything not British. Instead a more mature discerning reader is required to sieve through the falsities of Stevenson's representations, and to understand that he is not entirely to blame for them: he, like all the Victorians, wrote from a position of ignorance towards the east. They believed Britain Empire was the absolute apex of culture and society, everything else by comparison was lesser and underdeveloped. Their view of the world was distorted to say the least. This edition here if full of colourful illustrations that sit perfectly with the apparent simplicity of the poetry; it, certainly, is very pleasant to look upon. But, again, I would not put this in the hand of a child today because of the nature of some of the poems. A young reader could very easily absorb the information here, information that provides the views and opinions of a mind-set out of date and completely out of touch with the realities of Empire. This, in itself, is a real shame because there are some good pieces of poetry in here, but when Stevenson addresses the foreign he does so with the haughtiness and pomposity that came with his own literary era.

  4. 4 out of 5

    LIsa Noell "Rocking the Chutzpah!"

    What are you able to build with your blocks? Castles, Palaces, Temples and docks. Rain may keep raining, while others go roam. But I can be happy, just building at home.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    just got this book. I've read a few of the poems, but it really isn't for me. I'll soon be giving it to my daughter. It's for her daughter, my seven-year old granddaughter. It turns out that the youngster is currently enamored with poetry. Her bedtime reading of choice, her reading of choice period - meaning what she reads on her own. It's interesting. None of her family have that interest except me, and I only got the poetry bug a few years ago. Probably has to due with a poetry splurge by her teac just got this book. I've read a few of the poems, but it really isn't for me. I'll soon be giving it to my daughter. It's for her daughter, my seven-year old granddaughter. It turns out that the youngster is currently enamored with poetry. Her bedtime reading of choice, her reading of choice period - meaning what she reads on her own. It's interesting. None of her family have that interest except me, and I only got the poetry bug a few years ago. Probably has to due with a poetry splurge by her teacher. Anyway, I'm sure she will love this book . . . . . . . . . . . . My review resulted from a look at a couple of A.A. Milne's books here on the site. And that resulted from This Day in History for Jan. 18, in which the birth of A.A. on that date in 1882 was indicated. This led to a mention by Goodreads of a similar book, the one being reviewed. Now, I can't be sure how much of this book I've read. I thought we once had it in the house, which my wife verified. But a search in all the likely places didn't turn it up. Well, Robert Louis Stevenson. Most noted for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and A Child's Garden of Verses. To my memory, he is most noted for the epitaph that he wanted inscribed on his tomb.Under the wide and starry sky, Dig the grave and let me lie. Glad did I live and gladly die, And I laid me down with a will. This be the verse you grave for me: Here he lies where he longed to be; Home is the sailor, home from sea, And the hunter home from the hill.I no longer can be sure of why these words have lodged into my memory. I vaguely recollect that they were quoted as an epigraph in some short story (possibly a SF story) read long ago. (view spoiler)[ Well a search on that turned up a story by Robert Heinlein called Requiem. It's the lead story in Famous Science Fiction Stories Adventures in Time and Space. My copy is a Modern Library Giant published in 1957. I might guess that I bought it and read that first story in high school. Thanks for the memory, Modern Library! The Stephenson thing isn't an epigraph. It's right up front in the story itself.On a high hill in Samoa there is a grave. Inscribed on the marker are these words:(…the Stephenson thing…)These lines appear another place – scrawled on a shipping tag torn from a compressed-air cylinder, and pinned to the ground with a knife.And away Heinlein goes. (hide spoiler)] Stevenson went through a long period of decline in the 20th century. His Wiki article gives examples to document that he came to be judged a second-rate writer, to the extent that in the 1973 2,000-page Oxford Anthology of English Literature he was entirely unmentioned. Since then his reputation has rebounded quite a bit:The late 20th century brought a re-evaluation of Stevenson as an artist of great range and insight, a literary theorist, an essayist and social critic, a witness to the colonial history of the Pacific Islands, and a humanist. He was praised by Roger Lancelyn Green, one of the Oxford Inklings, as a writer of a consistently high level of "literary skill or sheer imaginative power" and a pioneer of the Age of the Story Tellers along with H. Rider Haggard. He is now evaluated as a peer of authors such as Joseph Conrad (whom Stevenson influenced with his South Seas fiction) and Henry James, with new scholarly studies and organizations devoted to him. Throughout the century however, Stevenson remained widely popular. One index ranks him as the 26th most translated author in the world, ahead of Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe. Here's a couple poems from Garden. The Lamplighter My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky; It's time to take the window to see Leerie going by; For every night at teatime and before you take your seat, With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street. Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea, And my papa's a banker and as rich as he can be; But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I'm to do, O Leerie, I'll go round at night and light the lamps with you! For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door, And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more; And O! before you hurry by with ladder and with light, O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him tonight! My Shadow I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, And what can be the use of him is more than I can see. He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head; And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed. The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow— Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow; For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball, And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all. He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play, And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way. He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see; I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me! One morning, very early, before the sun was up, I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup; But my lazy little shadow, like an errant sleepy-head, Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed. The rating - well, a lot of my friends have given it the same, that's good enough for me. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Previous review: The Corpse Exhibition Next review: The Supplicants Aeschylus Older review: The Glory of their Times Previous library review: Far From the Madding Crowd Next library review: One Fat Englishman

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laysee

    A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson is a lovely collection of poems that captured the unfettered imagination of children and the alloyed joy they find in ordinary things. It was a treat to read a hardcover copy that was beautifully illustrated by Brian Wildsmith. Below is a snap shot of the world as seen through the eyes of children: The ‘Summer Sun’ making the world glad, including a dust-clad spider The magic of gazing into a ‘looking glass river’ The indignation of having to go t A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson is a lovely collection of poems that captured the unfettered imagination of children and the alloyed joy they find in ordinary things. It was a treat to read a hardcover copy that was beautifully illustrated by Brian Wildsmith. Below is a snap shot of the world as seen through the eyes of children: The ‘Summer Sun’ making the world glad, including a dust-clad spider The magic of gazing into a ‘looking glass river’ The indignation of having to go to ‘bed in summer’ with 'the birds still hopping on the tree...’ The delight of going up in a swing, ‘up in the air and over the wall...’ The mystery that birds ‘go flying... high overhead’ while we ‘must go plodding and walking’ The ‘joy to clamber... the happy hills of hay!’ The whimsy of longing: ‘I should like to rise and go / Where the golden apples grow; -‘ The dream of sailing through the skies ‘where the clover-tops are trees, and the rain-pools are the seas...’ The pleasure of ‘picture books in winter’: ‘How am I to sing your praise, / Happy chimney-corner days, / Sitting safe in nursery books, / Reading picture-story books.’ Every poem was gorgeously illustrated and I took time to pour over each piece of art as much as I relished each word. This is a book I bought as a gift with a special child in mind. Now, it has become a gift to myself.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Loretta

    Delightful book of poetry for children. Incredibly different than anything that I've read by Robert Louis Stevenson. 🤗 Delightful book of poetry for children. Incredibly different than anything that I've read by Robert Louis Stevenson. 🤗

  8. 5 out of 5

    Soraya

    My grandma gave me this book when I was very young. I read it around ages 6-7 years-old. It made me happy to be young and now it makes me want to be that young again. It was strange how easily I could identify with the young Robert Louis Stevenson. I could absolutely understand his annoyance at being sent to bed while it was still light in summer and I just wanted to be there with him. When I read it back now I am reminded of the innocence of being so young, something that I didn't think about o My grandma gave me this book when I was very young. I read it around ages 6-7 years-old. It made me happy to be young and now it makes me want to be that young again. It was strange how easily I could identify with the young Robert Louis Stevenson. I could absolutely understand his annoyance at being sent to bed while it was still light in summer and I just wanted to be there with him. When I read it back now I am reminded of the innocence of being so young, something that I didn't think about on first reading because I was far to innocent to understand innocence. I am baffled that a poetry book first released in 1885 could capture the imagination of a 7 year-old girl in 2002. That makes it unique in my view. In childish writing, inside the cover of my copy it says 'This book was given to me by Grandma Bertha.' My Grandma Bertha has since passed away and this is the most treasured thing I have that she gave to me. It was the first time I had loved reading poetry and it probably first sparked my interest in poetry as a genre. This book is brilliant. Buy it for your children or grand children. I'm very glad my Grandma Bertha did.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    This rates 5 stars for the beautiful illustrations by Eve Garnet alone, the poems are lovely too, although some of the statements about children will sound dated to the modern ear, there are some lovely evocative words and pictures of idyllic childhoods and country scenes. I have a 1940s copy of this book that I spent many happy hours as a child reading or tracing the pictures so I could paint colour into the beautiful line drawings.

  10. 5 out of 5

    max

    The Land of Counterpane When I was sick and lay a-bed, I had two pillows at my head, And all my toys beside me lay, To keep me happy all the day. * * * * * I was the giant great and still That sits upon the pillow-hill, And sees before him, dale and plain, The pleasant land of counterpane. Once upon a time, when I was a young child home sick from school and confined to bed, my mother encouraged me to memorize this poem. The title baffled me, since I had no idea what a counterpane was. I thought th The Land of Counterpane When I was sick and lay a-bed, I had two pillows at my head, And all my toys beside me lay, To keep me happy all the day. * * * * * I was the giant great and still That sits upon the pillow-hill, And sees before him, dale and plain, The pleasant land of counterpane. Once upon a time, when I was a young child home sick from school and confined to bed, my mother encouraged me to memorize this poem. The title baffled me, since I had no idea what a counterpane was. I thought that perhaps it had some connection with a windowpane. Only years later when I looked the word up did I discover that it was a bedspread. I can still recall the captivatingly beautiful illustration that accompanied the poem -- a young boy in bed looking rather unwell with little houses and toy soldiers surrounding him. And so I tackled the project of memorizing it, reading the lines, getting the words into my head, using the rhyme scheme to lock it firmly into place. By day's end I could recite the full poem, all sixteen lines of its four stanzas. We had one of those delightful large anthologies of children's poems and stories (including several from A Child's Garden of Verses) and I recall things like "Animal crackers and cocoa to drink" (first line of a poem by Christopher Morley) and also the story of The Little Match Girl in the same volume. Do they even publish these anymore? More to the point, would children read them if they did? The book opened up another world, one which, in my solitude, I was all too happy to enter. This kind of book was for me a precious treasure. The notion of watching television was unthinkable, as my mother would not have allowed it. And really, for intellectual stimulation and aesthetic experience, what television program could possibly have matched my intimate encounter with R.L. Stevenson on that particular morning? We are now at the stage where the intrusion of technology into our lives -- especially the lives of children -- can properly be called into question. When you memorize a poem, you own it. It takes mental effort, of course, and the slow task of building the complete product in your head also requires considerable patience. Technology, such as cellphones with instantaneous internet access, removes any need for effort or for patience. Something precious is lost in the process. Alas, when the imaginative life shrivels and dies, civilization dies along with it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Now I will be the first to admit that, limericks, verse and poetry are not my strengths and I am happy with that however as I work my way through the Everyman Children's Library I am trying to open myself up to new books and experiences. And so I came to Robert Louis Stevenson's book of garden verses - I am not sure why it is has reference to garden it in as honestly it covers all mater of subjects but it is primarily focused on children and the view on the world. Now there are so I recognise in Now I will be the first to admit that, limericks, verse and poetry are not my strengths and I am happy with that however as I work my way through the Everyman Children's Library I am trying to open myself up to new books and experiences. And so I came to Robert Louis Stevenson's book of garden verses - I am not sure why it is has reference to garden it in as honestly it covers all mater of subjects but it is primarily focused on children and the view on the world. Now there are so I recognise in this book there are so I think I should recognise but I realise I do not and there is plenty here for me to learn. As with the other books in this series it takes its illustrations from its most famous and most prominent edition and as such is all the more special for it (I really love the other books in the series illustrated by W Heath-Robinson) So yes I am not sure if I would claim to have read this book if it were not for its significance however I know I am better for having done so

  12. 5 out of 5

    Phillip

    As a child it would be an understatement to say I hated poetry, but this book, this book was different.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gerry

    One could argue that Robert Louis Stevenson's 'A Child's Garden of Verses' is one of the best children's poetry books ever written. There are so many poems evocative of childhood that will bring back memories for many readers and reading these poems aloud - even to oneself - is an absolute delight. Even the poem in dedication to his nurse Alison Cunningham is divine with lines such as 'And grant it, Heaven, that all you need/May find as dear a nurse at need/...May hear it in as kind a voice/As ma One could argue that Robert Louis Stevenson's 'A Child's Garden of Verses' is one of the best children's poetry books ever written. There are so many poems evocative of childhood that will bring back memories for many readers and reading these poems aloud - even to oneself - is an absolute delight. Even the poem in dedication to his nurse Alison Cunningham is divine with lines such as 'And grant it, Heaven, that all you need/May find as dear a nurse at need/...May hear it in as kind a voice/As made my childish days rejoice!' The opening poem is rather dramatic, 'Windy Nights' beginning 'Whenever the moon and stars are set,/Whenever the wind is high,'All nght long in the dark and the wet,/A man goes riding by./Late in the night when the fires are out,/Why does he gallop and gallop about?' And the following poem moves swiftly on to 'Bed in Summer', a much more tranquil scene that ends with something most children may ask, 'And does it not seem hard to you,/When all the sky is clear and blue,/And I should like so much to play,/To have to go to bed by day?' Yes, indeed it does, or it did when I was young! RLS visits 'Foreign Lands' that 'Lead onward into Fairyland', looks surprisingly at 'My Shadow' that from being huge 'Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed', loves the air whizzing by on 'The Swing' as 'Up in the air I go flying again,/Up in the air and down' and admires 'Nest Eggs' 'While we stand watching her/Staring like gabies,/Safe in the eggs are the/Bird's little babies'. He sees 'The Wind' with 'I saw you toss the kites on high,/And blow the birds across the sky;/And all around I heard you pass,/Like ladies' skirts across the grass -/O wind, a-blowing all day long,/O wind, that sings sop loud a song!' And the end poem 'To My Name-child' has the lovely lines, 'Some day soon this rhyming volume, if you learn with proper speed,/Little Louis Sanchez, will be given you to read' - of course, any name can be substituted for LS - and it will delight any child that picks it up. 'A Child's Garden of Verses' - in any edition - is one to be read and enjoyed, reliving childhood memories, over and over again.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Louie Matos The Mustache

    Anyone that has read my reviews will realize the esteem by which I hold Stevenson. A singular talent whether he was writing adventure or horror, lyrical or prose, for adults or for children. Here in A Child's Garden of Verses, Stevenson is writing poetry for children. There is incredible recollection of his childhood and all the magical things that filled him with wonder. In the 66 poems, he writes about the things he dreamed about and the wonderful things he would imagine. In a vivid poem that Anyone that has read my reviews will realize the esteem by which I hold Stevenson. A singular talent whether he was writing adventure or horror, lyrical or prose, for adults or for children. Here in A Child's Garden of Verses, Stevenson is writing poetry for children. There is incredible recollection of his childhood and all the magical things that filled him with wonder. In the 66 poems, he writes about the things he dreamed about and the wonderful things he would imagine. In a vivid poem that profoundly resonated with me, he writes about playing with his toys in bed and how soldiers would climb the mountains formed by his pillow and would explore the caves made by his blankets. There is mastery of those nuances of childhood, of having to miss school due to illness. True there are bits of affluenza type superiority, even where nationalistic tendencies may peek through, but those sensitivities are more of a modern concern. IMHO this is a really good sample of Stevenson's literary flexibility.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    This was my very first “real” poetry book. Of course many books for young kids have text that is a form of poetry. But this book, first published in 1885, is a true book of poems aimed at kids. I’ve always loved it and therefore have always enjoyed poetry. I’m sure being introduced to this book at a very young age influenced my tendency to seek out other poets and poems to read throughout my childhood and adolescence. My original copy was lost; the copy I now own I bought as a replacement when I This was my very first “real” poetry book. Of course many books for young kids have text that is a form of poetry. But this book, first published in 1885, is a true book of poems aimed at kids. I’ve always loved it and therefore have always enjoyed poetry. I’m sure being introduced to this book at a very young age influenced my tendency to seek out other poets and poems to read throughout my childhood and adolescence. My original copy was lost; the copy I now own I bought as a replacement when I was about 12. The “decorations” in my edition are by Eve Garnett.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    Enhanting. Read a volume illustrated by Charles Robinson.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Zoeb

    This seems like a year destined to rediscover Robert Louis Stevenson. I had almost forgotten that he had been one of my favourite storytellers in boyhood - the fact that I can still rattle off the entire plots of "The Strange Case Of Dr. Jeykill and Mr. Hyde" and "Kidnapped" almost verbatim and still remember all the pivotal sequences, characters, their conversations and all the big and small moments in the narrative and their accompanying feelings was a reminder to me of just how consummately b This seems like a year destined to rediscover Robert Louis Stevenson. I had almost forgotten that he had been one of my favourite storytellers in boyhood - the fact that I can still rattle off the entire plots of "The Strange Case Of Dr. Jeykill and Mr. Hyde" and "Kidnapped" almost verbatim and still remember all the pivotal sequences, characters, their conversations and all the big and small moments in the narrative and their accompanying feelings was a reminder to me of just how consummately brilliant and compelling a storyteller he can still be, for us adults too. Just as I began 2020 with something new and unexpected from him, "An Inland Voyage", a beautifully, eloquently written travelogue about exciting and eventful canoeing adventures down the canals and inlets in France and Belgium, I now end my year of extraordinary reads with this lovely, lovely collection of poems and verses, literally a "child's garden of verses", that bring to life all memories of a blissful and blessed childhood, not only Stevenson's but also my own. The poems in this elaborately illustrated and compiled edition are unquestionably unforgettable, indelible and beautifully penned and phrased. They do not have any of the epic, intense, incredible imagery of the true greats of English poetry nor do they have any of the radical symbolism of other greats like Blake, Wordsworth or our very recent post-modernist poets and thinkers. But that is unnecessary because Stevenson did not intend this collection to be these things. He intended it as a loving, affectionate, wistful ode to his most beloved childhood memories and he wished to pass on and share these memories down generations, to his son and to other young children, and even to his own grown-up cousins and siblings, who were once children like him and who had shared these fascinating adventures, experiences and feelings together with him. There are so many vivid images that these wonderful poems, written in the simplest turns of phrase and rhyme, evoked in my mind - the blissful little observations, full of hope and happiness, at natural phenomena like sunshine, rain and shadows, whimsical but mesmerising sights and sounds of an aunt's flowing skirts or the lamplighter going on his errand at night, impromptu games of playing seamen and adventurers in staircases or on beds - and as I read them again and again, out aloud, I could feel stirred and touched by how effective is Stevenson's gift of economy - in a few verses, he is able to evoke the atmosphere, the cumulative experience of childhood, so completely and cohesively. Then again, while a fair bit of the collection is about these simple, even unspectacular joys of childhood, there is, as to be expected with this storyteller, a deeper, more profound dimension in many of the poems too. One of them, which will always remain as my favourite Stevenson poem of all time, even predicts the theme of his greatest and darkest work; in its own light, frivolous story of a boy wondering about his shadow and its strange ways, it directly lays down the founding theme for one of the greatest stories of horror and moral complexity ever written. Read it for yourself and find out. There are many other poems which are equally imaginative and discerning - there is one that wonders curiously about children of foreign lands, one that imagines actual battlefields with dumb soldiers, one that imagines scenes out of story-books unfolding within the walls of home (and this one will appeal to all fellow bookworms) and also one that predicts, again, Stevenson's inexhaustible thirst for travelling across the breadth of the world as well as one more, in an unexpectedly dark mood, that reveals his innermost fears of the dark. In ways like these, "A Child's Garden Of Verses" is almost like the best, the most beautiful autobiography that one can have of a writer, a memoir, a self-portrait of childhood in the most eloquent verse possible. The collection ends, again memorably, with a pocketful of poems dedicated by Stevenson to people who were an inevitable part of his childhood and even to his own son and even further to us readers. Why compare this monumental accomplishment then to other works of poetry which this is so much more than just beautiful poetry?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Suzy Davies

    This book inspired me to write "Celebrate The Seasons" It is such a nostalgic read for me and a timeless classic. This book inspired me to write "Celebrate The Seasons" It is such a nostalgic read for me and a timeless classic.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cher

    This is a sentimental review because of how personally I cherish this collection. My grandfather had a old edition of this book like from the 1940s and whenever my sister and I slept over, he would read the different poems over and over again until we fell asleep. So to say I adore this book is a bit of an understatement as I can't read the poems without hearing my grandpa's voice. The poems themselves are utterly charming, harking back to an older childhood, perhaps a more innocent one, a time This is a sentimental review because of how personally I cherish this collection. My grandfather had a old edition of this book like from the 1940s and whenever my sister and I slept over, he would read the different poems over and over again until we fell asleep. So to say I adore this book is a bit of an understatement as I can't read the poems without hearing my grandpa's voice. The poems themselves are utterly charming, harking back to an older childhood, perhaps a more innocent one, a time when television, internet, and wii were not around to mindlessly entertain a young mind. Instead they are a reminder about what childhood used to mean, possibly the idealistic memories adults think they had of their childhood, but I still like to give this as a gift to young children as I hope it will inspire them to turn off their electronics and relish in their play and imagination as they once did.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Malakai Kong

    "The Wind" by Robert Louis Stevenson is a rhyming poem. It talks about the wind and how it feels. My favorite line is, "O you that are so strong and cold." It makes me feel like the wind will blow me off my feet! My favorite rhyming words are "cold and old," "sky and high," and "long and song." I think the poet wrote this poem on a windy day. He may have gone outside and then written this poem to describe how he feels about the wind. "The Wind" by Robert Louis Stevenson is a rhyming poem. It talks about the wind and how it feels. My favorite line is, "O you that are so strong and cold." It makes me feel like the wind will blow me off my feet! My favorite rhyming words are "cold and old," "sky and high," and "long and song." I think the poet wrote this poem on a windy day. He may have gone outside and then written this poem to describe how he feels about the wind.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Belinda Vlasbaard

    4 stars - English hardcover Found it in a secondhand shop. So nice! First published in 1885, poet and storyteller Robert Louis Steven-son's classic tribute to the lives of children has delighted readers for more than a century. From flying through the air on a swing to building an imaginary world out of blocks to being tucked into bed for a night of sweet dreams, A Child's Garden of Verses is a joyful celebration of imagination, wonder, and what it means to be a child. This beautifully illustrated 4 stars - English hardcover Found it in a secondhand shop. So nice! First published in 1885, poet and storyteller Robert Louis Steven-son's classic tribute to the lives of children has delighted readers for more than a century. From flying through the air on a swing to building an imaginary world out of blocks to being tucked into bed for a night of sweet dreams, A Child's Garden of Verses is a joyful celebration of imagination, wonder, and what it means to be a child. This beautifully illustrated edition is a reminder of how well many of these poems hold up.... As for the poems themselves, Stevenson's interest in cultivating the world of the imagination is a great message for today's busy, media-saturated culture.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Velma

    Strung these poems end to end like beads on a string around my heart, reading slowly to savor. Exquisite! Not all resonate with a modern reader: most espouse adherence to traditional gender roles; almost all take as their subject the joys and tragedies of childhood experiences, and quite a few are sadly now relegated to a bygone era and will therefore be unfamiliar to many readers (like nurses and nannies for children, candles to light a path to bed at night, and typical rural life staples like Strung these poems end to end like beads on a string around my heart, reading slowly to savor. Exquisite! Not all resonate with a modern reader: most espouse adherence to traditional gender roles; almost all take as their subject the joys and tragedies of childhood experiences, and quite a few are sadly now relegated to a bygone era and will therefore be unfamiliar to many readers (like nurses and nannies for children, candles to light a path to bed at night, and typical rural life staples like mills and haylofts); and at times they are tinged with the slightly xenophobic Brit/Western perspective of the Victorian Era in which they were penned. But it is all no matter! These classic "children's" poems nonetheless delighted me, because at the heart of each verse is magic and make believe, still alive and well in children of all ages today. Replete with pirates and imaginary friends, dreams in the day as well as the night, and "valiant battles lost and won". Although I have no memories of hearing these as a child, nor reading them myself (despite being an early reader, unlike Stevenson who surprisingly didn't learn how to navigate books until he was about 7 years old), many of them are nonetheless comfortingly familiar to me, while others are new-to-me gems. Along with the perennial obvious favorites like The Land of Counterpane, Rain, My Shadow, and The Land of Nod, I particularly love the travelers tales, like Historical Associations and To Minnie; the garden delight verse The Little Land "Where the clover tops are trees/And the rain pools are the seas"; and the poems extolling books, Picture Books in Winter and The Land of Storybooks. But my absolute favorite is Block City, in which a child creates a fabled world inside the house on a rainy day. The edition I read, illustrated by Caldecott-winner Diane Goode, contains over 70 color and black-and-white illustrations that are balanced from a gender and racial standpoint, which I particularly like. And, they are lovely without being overly sentimental. A note on language: I read one or two reviews complaining about the archaic vocabulary used in A Child's Garden of Verses, and I'd like to speak to that. I recently read, in Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf, of a 1995 study that showed that American children growing up in "underprivileged" and "linguistically impoverished" homes (ie., families in which reading, singing, and talking to young children is not emphasized) are exposed by the age of five to, on average, 32 MILLION fewer words than their more "stimulated" peers. That 32 million word gap in the vocabulary of underprivileged children is so detrimental that they are already at an educational disadvantage by the time they reach kindergarten. And, as I'm sure all Goodreaders know, illiteracy is predictive of many of the "social ills" in American society, including crime, incarceration rates, and poverty. According to Wolf: Children who never have a story read to them, who never hear words that rhyme, who never imagine fighting with dragons or marrying a prince, have the odds overwhelmingly against them." So to those that are put off by the seemingly outmoded lexicon of A Child's Garden of Verses, think of it instead as a great way to get a jump on that 32 million word gap we should all want to avoid. Viva la dictionary! Finally, let's hear from RLS himself, in one of the shortest verses from the book: Happy Thought The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings. I don't know about you, but in a world as full of ugliness as ours, this admonition to remember how full the world is of happy-making things does my heart good and seems a perfect place to end.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jo Walton

    Delightful poems, exactly to a child's experience and taste, and surprisingly unproblematic considering their age. A parent might want to explain to a child that "negro" was the normal polite term for Africans when RLS wrote but it isn't now, and that's about it, and you can explain it in the same way you explain why we don't dress by candle-light and have nurses any more. Perhaps these are too formative for me to have a rational opinion. When I was a kid, reading these, I was convinced that RLS Delightful poems, exactly to a child's experience and taste, and surprisingly unproblematic considering their age. A parent might want to explain to a child that "negro" was the normal polite term for Africans when RLS wrote but it isn't now, and that's about it, and you can explain it in the same way you explain why we don't dress by candle-light and have nurses any more. Perhaps these are too formative for me to have a rational opinion. When I was a kid, reading these, I was convinced that RLS had written them when he was in fact himself still a child, that unlike everything else I read that was written for adults for children or for adults for other adults, these poems alone were written by a child for children, from a child's real and present experience. Reading it now, I can entirely see why I thought that, and I still almost think it, even though I know better. Like RLS I was a child who had to spend time in bed sick, who liked to play outside, and a lot of these experiences of considering scale and the world still ring very true -- but maybe because I read them so young and internalised them. The difference in length and rhyme scheme of these poems still seems to me exactly to a child's taste and utterly different from the way an adult would shape them. An adult wouldn't write "The world is so full of a number of things I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings" and leave it as that, as the whole poem, which has been giving me satisfaction for half a century. But Stevenson did, and I'm glad he did.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    My edition different cover, with an assortment of classic illustrations chosen by Cooper Edens. My review from the Children's Books discussion for Poetry month: Emphasizes the sentimental and the nostalgic. That may be appropriate, and a good way to sell the book to the ppl with the money... but I'm not sure if it helps today's children appreciate the timelessness of the verses. I would have loved any edition of this when my children were tiny. Reading it now, I feel as if I deprived my kids! Even n My edition different cover, with an assortment of classic illustrations chosen by Cooper Edens. My review from the Children's Books discussion for Poetry month: Emphasizes the sentimental and the nostalgic. That may be appropriate, and a good way to sell the book to the ppl with the money... but I'm not sure if it helps today's children appreciate the timelessness of the verses. I would have loved any edition of this when my children were tiny. Reading it now, I feel as if I deprived my kids! Even nursing infants could appreciate the sounds, the rhythm, rhyme, and alliteration of the poems as read aloud. It won't be long before some of the lines stick in their heads... even if they don't understand them. And toddlers can enjoy many of the concepts... and preschoolers more... and some of the poems are worth a teen student's time. Owning whichever edition of this you prefer is like owning a big book of Mother Goose rhymes, and another big book, or collection, of famous fairy tales... it's almost a must! Many of the poems have been reprinted in other collections, including the Nat'l Geog. we read upthread. But many are new to me, too.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    Had this since I was three and refound the same copy in a drawer. What a wonderful amazing book. The BEST BOOK FOR YOUNG CHILDREN EVER! sublime brilliant poetry evokes my own childhood and thew eternal wonder of the mind of a child. Exquisite colour illustration of beautiful children and other wonderful things. the pride of English children's literature If you have ylung children please purchase this treasure now xxxx a sample “ Years may go by, and the wheel in the river Wheel as it wheels for us, ch Had this since I was three and refound the same copy in a drawer. What a wonderful amazing book. The BEST BOOK FOR YOUNG CHILDREN EVER! sublime brilliant poetry evokes my own childhood and thew eternal wonder of the mind of a child. Exquisite colour illustration of beautiful children and other wonderful things. the pride of English children's literature If you have ylung children please purchase this treasure now xxxx a sample “ Years may go by, and the wheel in the river Wheel as it wheels for us, children, to-day, Wheel and keep roaring and foaming for ever Long after all of the boys are away. Home for the Indies and home from the ocean, Heroes and soldiers we all will come home; Still we shall find the old mill wheel in motion, Turning and churning that river to foam. You with the bean that I gave when we quarrelled, I with your marble of Saturday last, Honoured and old and all gaily apparelled, Here we shall meet and remember the past.”

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jill Hutchinson

    What wonderful memories this little book holds! It is responsible for my bibliomania of today. We were a reading family and my parents bought me this book when I was a small child and would read to me from it until I mastered reading on my own. Such classic poems it contains and my edition has illustrations by the wonderful Jesse Wilcox Smith which makes it even better. Along with Poems of Childhood by Eugene Field, this book never gets old and is still enjoyable to the adult who read it as a ch What wonderful memories this little book holds! It is responsible for my bibliomania of today. We were a reading family and my parents bought me this book when I was a small child and would read to me from it until I mastered reading on my own. Such classic poems it contains and my edition has illustrations by the wonderful Jesse Wilcox Smith which makes it even better. Along with Poems of Childhood by Eugene Field, this book never gets old and is still enjoyable to the adult who read it as a child. The Wind "I saw you toss the kites on high And blow the birds about the sky; And all around I heard you pass, Like ladies' skirts across the grass- O wind, a-blowing all day long, O Wind, that sings so loud a song"

  27. 4 out of 5

    Florencia

    The gardener The gardener does not love to talk. He makes me keep the gravel walk; And when he puts his tools away, He locks the door and takes the key. Away behind the currant row, Where no one else but cook may go, Far in the plots, I see him dig, Old and serious, brown and big. He digs the flowers, green, red, and blue, Nor wishes to be spoken to. He digs the flowers and cuts the hay, And never seems to want to play. Silly gardener! summer goes, And winter comes with pinching toes, When in the garden bare The gardener The gardener does not love to talk. He makes me keep the gravel walk; And when he puts his tools away, He locks the door and takes the key. Away behind the currant row, Where no one else but cook may go, Far in the plots, I see him dig, Old and serious, brown and big. He digs the flowers, green, red, and blue, Nor wishes to be spoken to. He digs the flowers and cuts the hay, And never seems to want to play. Silly gardener! summer goes, And winter comes with pinching toes, When in the garden bare and brown You must lay your barrow down. Well now, and while the summer stays, To profit by these garden days O how much wiser you would be To play at Indian wars with me! Well, isn't it just lovely? Aug 4, 18

  28. 4 out of 5

    GoldGato

    Stevenson can not simply sit quietly on a shelf. His works beg to be lifted and opened for new worlds to discover. As a child, he was lonely and ill and many of the poems in this collection for children exude that sense of isolation. I'm sure everyone has their favorites, but mine was always THE LAMPLIGHTER. At my school in Melbourne, we would have a midday break of tea and biscuits, and my teacher would recite the beginning of this poem. It was Stevenson's ode to a world quickly changing, as ele Stevenson can not simply sit quietly on a shelf. His works beg to be lifted and opened for new worlds to discover. As a child, he was lonely and ill and many of the poems in this collection for children exude that sense of isolation. I'm sure everyone has their favorites, but mine was always THE LAMPLIGHTER. At my school in Melbourne, we would have a midday break of tea and biscuits, and my teacher would recite the beginning of this poem. It was Stevenson's ode to a world quickly changing, as electricity replaced gaslamps in the late 19th century. My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky

  29. 5 out of 5

    Diana Long

    I must have had some version of this collection as a child as I remembered the poem “Me and My Shadow” which I still remember some of the opening lines. These poems are very nostalgic and the author's childhood appears throughout them. They are basic and simple in nature but after all they were written with children in mind. I loved reading this and taking a trip down memory lane. I must have had some version of this collection as a child as I remembered the poem “Me and My Shadow” which I still remember some of the opening lines. These poems are very nostalgic and the author's childhood appears throughout them. They are basic and simple in nature but after all they were written with children in mind. I loved reading this and taking a trip down memory lane.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

    I cannot find the correct edition - ours is ancient! I adore Wynken, Blinken and Nod and "How do you like to go up in the air, up in the air so high, oh I do think it is the...., ie the Swing song! They are my favorites. I cannot find the correct edition - ours is ancient! I adore Wynken, Blinken and Nod and "How do you like to go up in the air, up in the air so high, oh I do think it is the...., ie the Swing song! They are my favorites.

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