cover image Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People

Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People

Monica Brown, illus. by Julie Paschkis, Holt, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9198-4

This gentle tribute to Chilean poet Neruda explores his formative experiences, from searching for "beetles and birds' eggs" in the forest to discovering his love for books. Paschkis incorporates Spanish and English words into her organic, stylized compositions (the opening scene features a literal river of words), while Brown lyrically chronicles Neruda's poetic subjects ("He wrote about buttons and feathers and shoes and hats. He wrote about velvet cloth the color of the sea") and highlights his devotion to the poor and suffering. Readers may not gain a real sense of Neruda's work from this collaboration, but Brown and Paschkis paint a compelling portrait of a man who saw the world as a joyful, complex, and beautiful poem waiting to be unveiled. Ages 1–4. (Mar.)