‘A CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSES’ will transport you back to a time when a bedsheet and a few dining room chairs was all the boat you needed to have rollicking adventures on the high seas! This poetry touches on all of the things so enthralling to little boys and girls. Pirates and sailing ships, the seaside, distant stars, toy soldiers, galloping horses, howling dogs, imaginary playmates, the moon, explorers, Indians, swings, and fairies are all childhood fascinations that find their way into Stevenson’s verse.
This poetry was composed in 1885, which means that the occasional archaic word or mossy British phrase rears its mysterious head from time to time. I like that; it adds a touch of antique elegance to the garden. But if you’re going to be reading this aloud to a kiddie, be prepared to explain lamplighters, grenadiers, balusters, gabies and bogies. I liked having to explain these things. It made me feel as though I were giving my grandchildren the gift of the past.
Summary: “A Child’s Garden of Verses” is a collection of poetry by the famous author Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), and the particular version I read included Hallmark-style illustrations by Gyo Fujikawa. In total there are 62 different poems, all written for children regarding themes and activities that they would find pleasing. For example, within the poetry children are playing in trees, in the garden, at the beach, at the river, on a swing, around the farm, and with blocks and other toys. The imagery is quite endearing and the illustrations do well to capture the intent of their accompanying pieces. Most of the poems are written in the same style, featuring rhymes and short stanzas.
Characteristics That Support the Genre: This collection of poems uses nostalgic and aesthetic language to evoke feelings and imagery based around the theme of childhood. Additionally, the book includes beautiful illustrations to capture the mood of each poem.