Reviews for Child's Garden of Verses


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
McClintock offers a complete edition of these old favorites in a format generous with white space and spot art as well as illustrative fantasies. Occasional full-page pictures set the scene; eponymous gardens burgeon invitingly throughout. McClintock's blend of old and new should attract readers. There's a table of contents, but no index. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #4
McClintock offers a complete edition of these old favorites in a format generous with white space and spot art as well as illustrative fantasies (the Land of Nod features mice in toy sailboats, with sweets standing in for flowers along the shore). Occasional full-page illustrations set the scene (the concluding "Envoys" section pictures a young letter writer whose missives flutter up from her pen to take flight as butterflies; Michael Foreman did the same but with birds for his 1985 edition); eponymous gardens burgeon invitingly throughout. Some faces are now various shades of brown -- somewhat anachronistic given the art's implied Victorian setting. Creatively, the ever-problematic "Foreign Children" become upside-down reflections of children in European dress, suggesting that the speaker is as curious about similarities as differences. Charles Robinson's elegant Art Nouveau illustrations for the 1896 edition caught Stevenson's sensibility, while Jessie Willcox Smith's similarly costumed children (1905) have more character than these. Brian Wildsmith's flamboyant paintings for his 1966 edition are best at celebrating the glorious imagination of the solitary child we know Stevenson to have been. Still, McClintock's blend of old and new should attract a new generation. There's a table of contents, but no index. joanna rudge long Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 August

PreS-Gr 5--This beautifully illustrated edition of a collection first published in 1885 is a reminder of how well many of these poems hold up. Topics range from everyday mysteries like the strong but invisible wind ("I saw the different things you did/But always you yourself you hid") to the timeless fascination of watching the world go by from a train window ("And here is a mill, and there is a river:/Each a glimpse and gone forever!"). A few of the poems show their age in interesting ways, like "Travel" ("I should like to rise and go/…Where are forests, hot as fire,/…Full of apes and coconuts/And the Negro hunters' huts--" and "Foreign Children" ("…Little Turk or Japanee/Oh! Don't you wish that you were me?"). Since there is no explanatory note in the front or end matter, here's hoping that the adults sharing these selections will provide the necessary historical context. But that's a minor quibble, especially given McClintock's charming pictures that show her beautiful line and color work, her feeling for landscape and personality, and her subtle sense of humor. 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.--Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL

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