To Go Singing Through the World
The Childhood of Pablo Neruda
By Deborah Kogan Ray
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374376277, 40pp.)
Publication Date: October 31, 2006
List Price: $17.00*
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Pablo Neruda grew up in the rough and wild frontier town of Temuco, Chile. His father was a railroad man and not inclined to draw out the introspective boy. However, his stepmother, descended from the Mapuche people, was gentle and nurturing and told him stories of Chile's native people. But in her husband's presence, she was as silent as Pablo. So the child found refuge in nature and in books. And secretly he wrote down his thoughts. With the encouragement of Gabriela Mistral, an award-winning poet, teacher, and friend, Neruda's writing grew resonant and powerful. At age sixteen he left Temuco for the university in Santiago and went on to become the "people's poet" and to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Blending her telling of Neruda's childhood with excerpts from his own poetry and prose, Ms. Ray captures the people and places that inspired him in her rich watercolor illustrations.
DEBORAH KOGAN RAY is the author and illustrator of several acclaimed children's books, including The Flower Hunter: William Bartram, America's First Naturalist, an NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children. She lives in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania.
"Though young readers will be unfamiliar with the subject, relatable and sympathetic details about his boyhood will pique their interest and inspire them." --Starred, Kirkus Reviews "The evocative art captures both the activity of the developing town and the tranquility of nature. An excellent introduction to the human face of poetry." --School Library Journal "Powerful." --Booklist "Children are naturally attracted to childhood biographies of famous people. This one is outstanding."--Multicultural Review, Spring 2007