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A Child's Garden of Verses

4.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  20,496 Ratings  ·  389 Reviews
First published in 1885, Stevenson's verses so truly reflect the feelings of young children--about being small, the bliss of going up in a swing so high, discovering one's shadow, happiness and sorrow and dreaming--that they have never ceased to be an essential part of a child's library. Robinson's beautiful pictures originally appeared in 1896 in the first illustrated edi ...more
Hardcover, 147 pages
Published November 3rd 1992 by Everyman's Library (first published 1885)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Hailey (HailsHeartsNyc)
*Read for school*
Bookworm Sean
I found this wonderful book whilst doing my weekly browse in Waterstones today. It really is a lovely little collection of poetry that will bring the reader back to their youth. This collection was published in 1885 for children and the verses still ring true for children of modern day.

This is another wonderful work of literature that I wish I had read when I was a child but, alas, I suppose I shall have to make do with appreciating its worth as an adult.
Apr 23, 2012 Soraya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My grandma gave me this book when I was very young. I read it around ages 6-7 years-old. It made me happy to be young and now it makes me want to be that young again. It was strange how easily I could identify with the young Robert Louis Stevenson. I could absolutely understand his annoyance at being sent to bed while it was still light in summer and I just wanted to be there with him. When I read it back now I am reminded of the innocence of being so young, something that I didn't think about o ...more
Aug 14, 2016 max rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
The Land of Counterpane

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.

* * * * *

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

Once upon a time, when I was a young child home sick from school and confined to bed, my mother encouraged me to memorize this poem. The title baffled me, since I had no idea what a counterpane was. I thought th
Hilary Woolf
Feb 27, 2016 Hilary Woolf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This rates 5 stars for the beautiful illustrations by Eve Garnet alone, the poems are lovely too, although some of the statements about children will sound dated to the modern ear, there are some lovely evocative words and pictures of idyllic childhoods and country scenes. I have a 1940s copy of this book that I spent many happy hours as a child reading or tracing the pictures so I could paint colour into the beautiful line drawings.
Feb 22, 2016 Velma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, children, and all who have ever been one or the other
Recommended to Velma by: found a copy at my local support-the-library sale
Strung these poems end to end like beads on a string around my heart, reading slowly to savor. Exquisite! Not all resonate with a modern reader: most espouse adherence to traditional gender roles; almost all take as their subject the joys and tragedies of childhood experiences, and quite a few are sadly now relegated to a bygone era and will therefore be unfamiliar to many readers (like nurses and nannies for children, candles to light a path to bed at night, and typical rural life staples like ...more
Malakai Kong
Mar 23, 2015 Malakai Kong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Wind" by Robert Louis Stevenson is a rhyming poem. It talks about the wind and how it feels.

My favorite line is, "O you that are so strong and cold." It makes me feel like the wind will blow me off my feet! My favorite rhyming words are "cold and old," "sky and high," and "long and song."

I think the poet wrote this poem on a windy day. He may have gone outside and then written this poem to describe how he feels about the wind.
Jill Hutchinson
Mar 18, 2015 Jill Hutchinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
What wonderful memories this little book holds! It is responsible for my bibliomania of today. We were a reading family and my parents bought me this book when I was a small child and would read to me from it until I mastered reading on my own. Such classic poems it contains and my edition has illustrations by the wonderful Jesse Wilcox Smith which makes it even better. Along with Poems of Childhood by Eugene Field, this book never gets old and is still enjoyable to the adult who read it as a ch ...more
Oct 13, 2011 Cher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a sentimental review because of how personally I cherish this collection. My grandfather had a old edition of this book like from the 1940s and whenever my sister and I slept over, he would read the different poems over and over again until we fell asleep. So to say I adore this book is a bit of an understatement as I can't read the poems without hearing my grandpa's voice. The poems themselves are utterly charming, harking back to an older childhood, perhaps a more innocent one, a time ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Marnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, children-s
This book was given to me by my kindergarten teacher. I still have it and treasure it.
Nov 29, 2008 Wayne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has some modern children's poetry nearby as an antidote.
Recommended to Wayne by: my interest in Robert Louis
I really tried to give this at least TWO stars, but when you're really glad you have finished a book I think that's a pretty good indication of the star rating.

Perhaps it might be thought that a poetry book should be read in small bites??
Yes, much poetry is dense in terms of compacted thoughts and image and metaphor. After reading one Shakespeare sonnet(reviewed) one has to gasp for breath. (What was that semi-trailer that just passed over me!??!!) An immediate reread is necessary. The syntax(w
Taymara Jagmohan
May 28, 2013 Taymara Jagmohan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely wonderful!

A Child's Garden of Verses is a read that reminds me of all the little experiences as a child!

Sometimes we see the moon, we see the weathered patterns, and we see the happy thoughts resonate into actions, but do we ever know where they spring from? They don't lodge themselves from the grabs of young imagination, but this is a phase that truly continues to grow.

You grow old towards the genuine reality, and repose of life, but are you enjoying it?

Do not be afraid of living fo
Dec 04, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a child it was my Mom who who read to me many bedtime stories, except for Christmas eve when my Dad would read us "The Night before Christmas", and every so often, my Dad would read from this book! His favorite was "The Lamplighter" The book had beautiful illustrations and I can still hear my Dad saying with great voice inflection "O Leerie I'll go round at night and light the lamps with you". Some other favs of mine in this book: The Swing,The Wind, My Bed is a Boat, My Shadow, The Land of C ...more
Mar 29, 2015 Gerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With at least six different editions of 'A Child's Garden of Verses' already in my collection, why would I want another I wonder? The answer was that it was a superbly illustrated edition and had a lengthy introduction by Michael Rosen so I just had to have it. And why would I read it having read it innumerable times before? The answer to that is that it is one of my all-time favourite books and I enjoy reading it over and over again.

I was not disappointed this time either as I visited The Land
Catherine Gillespie
We read poetry every day, and one favorite we return to at least once a year is A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. Our version is a very old hardcover edition with illustrations by Jessie Wilcox Smith. If you’re looking to buy a copy, I’d recommend her illustrations, although the Tasha Tudor illustrations are probably also excellent (she's another of our favorites). In any case be sure you get an unabridged version! I feel like these are some of the best poems of childhood–man ...more
3.5 out of 5
Nov 11, 2015 Logan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We listened to Treasure Island and were talking about how well Stevenson can get into the head of a child and portray them realistically. I mentioned that Stevenson also wrote some poetry, also from a kid's perspective. I had read him "From A Railway Carriage" when he was 5 and we were in England riding a train. But he didn't remember that. So we started reading a poem or two every night, before our regular novel-of-the-moment. I was surprised to find how much he liked the poems. He's never been ...more
So beautiful and childlike, not in the simplicity of the poems but in Stevenson's incredible way of showing the mind of a child. These are poems for any child . These are poems of imagination and play. These are poems from a child's view point written by a man of great literary talent. These are poems you can read over and over to a child or read just for the sheer pleasure by yourself. These are poems of beauty and childhood.

To Any Reader

As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the
I give this book two stars and I think that is being pretty darn generous. The poetry is very old-fashioned and filled with difficult words--words that are even difficult for me like "paven pools" and "gabies". I doubt these will show up on future SAT's. The poems are good if you are old enough to understand them, but the children they are meant for are probably too young for them.

We read Gyo Fujikawa's edition. The illustrations are so cute but, despite being drawn by a Japanese-American woman
Jun 03, 2012 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ratings aren't particularly helpful with a book of children's poetry like this. If you like it then you must have been exposed to this before the age of eight and are looking back with nostalgia. It's true that there is much that seems outdated and only fit for parody - nursie, lamplighters and such - but it also has a timeless quality and a capacity to delight or it wouldn't still be read 130 years on. I'll try and quote from memory:

When I'm grown to man's estate
I shall be tall and very great
Kellyn Roth
Mar 15, 2016 Kellyn Roth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book of poetry, that I have treasured ever since I was a kid. Besides the amazing poems, this book is gifted with Tasha Tudor's gorgeous illustrations. Best. Poetry. Book. Ever. :)
Jan 04, 2014 Lorelei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As wonderful as when I first discovered a shorter version (with pictures) in the bookcase in my mother's apartment before I was old enough to go to school. The last poem is perfect - warm and joyous and bittersweet. There are ballads that wouldn't do to read when one is feeling down, and others that make the heart race and bring a smile to the face. The children's poems at the beginning are delightful and (at least for me) require no translation. Some of the Scottish later on could be hard if yo ...more
Jan 21, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a beautiful old version of this that I read as a child (I think it might have been my Mum's it certainly wasn't given to me,it was in the house when I was growing up). It might have been the first book of poetry I ever read but it has certainly stayed with me. Some of the poems I not only remember but I can visualise how the look on the page.

The love of poetry has stayed with me and for that alone I think this book will always be special to me.

If you want a book of traditional poetry, th
Mar 10, 2012 GoldGato rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stevenson can not simply sit quietly on a shelf. His works beg to be lifted and opened for new worlds to discover. As a child, he was lonely and ill and many of the poems in this collection for children exude that sense of isolation.

I'm sure everyone has their favorites, but mine was always THE LAMPLIGHTER. At my school in Melbourne, we would have a midday break of tea and biscuits, and my teacher would recite the beginning of this poem. It was Stevenson's ode to a world quickly changing, as ele
Oct 21, 2014 Bree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-poetry
illustrated by Jessie Wilcox Smith
simple black and white with a few color plates
prefer this over the Tasha Tudor version for it's simplicity
Lisa Vegan
Jun 28, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all children, especially those who need an introduction to "real" poetry
This was my very first “real” poetry book. Of course many books for young kids have text that is a form of poetry. But this book, first published in 1885, is a true book of poems aimed at kids. I’ve always loved it and therefore have always enjoyed poetry. I’m sure being introduced to this book at a very young age influenced my tendency to seek out other poets and poems to read throughout my childhood and adolescence. My original copy was lost; the copy I now own I bought as a replacement when I ...more
Title: A Child's Garden of Verses
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Illustrator: Tasha Tudor
Genre: Book of Poems
Theme(s): Poetry, Childhood
Opening line/sentence: Bed in Summer. In Winter I get up at night a.nd dress by yellow candle-light.
Brief Book Summary: A Child's Garden of Verses is a book of poems that captures the adventure and imagination of childhood. This book is a collection of his poems about the joys of author Robert Stevenson's childhood.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1: Horn Boo
Michelle Warner
Oct 12, 2015 Michelle Warner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Title: A Child's Garden of Verses
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Illustrator: Brian Wildsmith
Genre: Poetry
Theme(s): Nature, Gadens, Parks, Animals.
Opening line/sentence: Happy Thought: “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings”
Brief Book Summary: This book is a collection of poems that are familiar to many, but also considered classics. There are 96 pages filled with colorful illustrations, as well as rhythmic and upbeat poems. This book
Cullen Howard
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 ...more
Jan 23, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I should like to go
Where the golden apples grow;-
Where below another sky
Parrot islands anchored lie
And, watched by cockatoos and goats,
Lonely Crusoes building boats..."

I have owned a lovely old edition of A Child's Garden of Verses for quite some time now, and after reading through it on a whim, I vaguely remembered reading it as a child as well. This collection is by an author that I have had nothing but good experiences with, so I figured that it would be as good. Was I right? I'm pr
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Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of English literature. He was greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling and Vladimir Nabokov.

Most modernist writers dismissed him, however, because he was popular and did not write within their narrow definition of literature. It is o
More about Robert Louis Stevenson...

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“The rain is falling all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.”
“To My Mother
You too, my mother, read my rhymes
For love of unforgotten times,
And you may chance to hear once more
The little feet along the floor.”
More quotes…