________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 7 . . . . November 29, 2002

cover

The Little Land.

Robert Louis Stevenson. Illustrated by Kim Fernandes.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2002.
24 pp., cloth, $14.95.
ISBN 1-55337-385-5.

Subject Heading:
Children’s poetry, English.

Kindergarten-grade 4 / Ages 5-9.

Review by Sylvia Pantaleo.

** /4

excerpt:

When at home alone I sit
And am very tired of it,
I have just to shut my eyes
To go sailing through the skies -
To go sailing far away
To the pleasant Land of Play.

The Little Land is one of the poems from Stevenson's collection, A Child's Garden of Verses (1885). The poem is an imaginative tale about a boy's whimsical journey to fairy land where the clover-tops are trees and the rain-pools are the seas. The boy is diminutive in size in fairyland, and he meets Little People; plays with bumblebees, ants, spiders and flies; sails in a leaf boat; and dances into the night with his insect friends. Following his adventures in the Land of Play, the boy returns home, and, of course, everything seems huge! The boy longs to return to the Land of Play and be a "sailor on the rain-pool sea" and a "climber in the clover tree" and come back home at night just in time to go to bed.

internal art

     Fernandes, an award-winning children's book author and illustrator, has used Fimo in creating the unique three-dimensional artwork in the picture book. The textured and brightly coloured illustrations enliven the poem. The illustrations not only complement Stevenson's work, but they expand the poem. The verso illustration of the boy dancing with his newfound friends near the end of the book is a visual delight!

     The age of the poem must be taken into consideration when critiquing the work. Although children will be able to relate to the idea of an imaginary land, the word order (and hence the rhythm) of some of the lines of the poem seems awkward as Stevenson worked to maintain the rhyming scheme. The appeal of the book will be the illustrations. Unfortunately, Fernandes does not provide readers with her reasons for selecting this particular poem to illustrate.

     Not-a-first-choice selection.

Recommended.

Sylvia Pantaleo is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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