Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Worded Wonder: "A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson

Truly, an oldie but a goodie. A children's book that lives happily on my grownup books' shelf.
"A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson. This book has never gone out of print since its original publication in 1885.

front cover,
 illustration by Willy Pogany, 1915

As a child, I knew, and loved, "Treasure Island." As a grownup child, I've discovered another treasure -- Stevenson's bitter-sweet tender poetry.

title page detail,
 illustration by Margaret Tarrant, n.d.

The classic illustrated edition conceived and collected by Cooper Edens and published by Chronicle Books is beyond beautiful. Everything about it--the dust jacket, binding, paper--heirloom quality. 

p.67 detail,
 illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith, 1905

The vintage illustrations are stunning. It's wonderful and a bit eerie to find kids of today stare at you from the page. Clothes change, nothing else does. This boy looks so much like my son:

p.77 detail,
 illustration by Florence Edith Storer, 1909

Give a gift. To someone, or yourself. To a little child, or a grownup one. Get this book. 

"Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing Ever a child can do!" 

back cover,
illustration by Maria L. Kirk, 1919

Live for the Love of it,
Sasha A. Palmer (aka Happy)


  1. He was my favorite childhood poet!What a gorgeous book! I own the version illustrated by Thomas Kincade and inside the front cover-flap is this Chinese proverb; a book is like a garden carried in a pocket.

    1. I don't recall reading these in Russian. There must be a translation, though. Just missed it somehow when growing up.

      Thank you for the proverb :)

  2. Have you seen this wonderful lullaby book:

    I've been singing these lullabies to Little Miss for nap time :)

    1. "A collection of bedtime poems that can be read in one sitting and will so soothe as to preclude further requests" -- love this testimonial from Parents' Choice, written by a sleep-deprived parent, no doubt :)

      No, Jules, haven't seen this one, thank you very much for the tip. Little Miss is a lucky girl indeed.