Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People
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Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People

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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  215 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Once there was a little boy named Neftalí who loved wild things wildly and quiet things quietly. From the moment he could talk, he surrounded himself with words. Neftalí discovered the magic between the pages of books. When he was sixteen, he began publishing his poems as Pablo Neruda.

Pablo wrote poems about the things he loved—things made by his friends in the café, thing...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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2012 Mock Caldecott
60th out of 83 books — 179 voters
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Multicultural Children's Lit
87th out of 304 books — 40 voters


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Community Reviews

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Casey Strauss
Pablo Neruda, Poet of the People is a picture book written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Julie Paschkins. This story is simply narrated, but with powerful language and word choice. The accompanying illustrations add to the story line because they are interwoven with words both in English and in Spanish. For example, when he was a teenager, Neftali changed his name to Pablo Neruda and began publishing his poems-always writing in green ink. The images accompanying this text have his different...more
538PM_LaurenRomano
"From the moment he could talk, Neftali surrounded himself with words that whirled and swirled...". In this non-fiction story about Pablo Neruda, words literally whirl and swirl on each page as part of the colorful illustrations. On each page, Spanish and English words fill in blank spaces giving the reader a sense of the language that Neruda loved. These words, a bit distracting at times, are painted into beautiful and detailed illustrations that could each stand alone without the accompanying...more
Kelsey
Ages: 4-7 years
Pablo Neruda wrote about the world around him: sometimes about love, other times about curiosity, and eventually about human injustice and protest. Brown creates a beautiful mosaic of Neruda's life and his fascination with his surroundings.

This book excels in showcasing Pablo Neruda's love of the world around him. In each painting, Spanish and English words are interwoven in the images, showing children the connection between words and images (an early literacy skill). On top of t...more
Maira
When I read Pablo Neruda Poet of the People I was able to relate to some of his story. In the story, it tells how Pablo (Neftali, is his name given at birth) grew up having a passion for books and words. His father didn't approve of his interest so Pablo had to change his name from Neftali to Pablo when he was a teenager to be able to publish his poems behind his father's back.

I think this would be a good story for boys and girls of any age who have an interest in books and have dreams of being...more
Dora
Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People is a 2012 Americas award recipient. Pablo was a poet from Chile. Since he was a child, he loved to read and was immersed in words. The vivid illustrations in this book demonstrate the play and creativity of words. Throughout the book, the reader understands what type of person Pablo is and who he grew up to be. His themes included nature, opposites, and justice. I highly recommend this book for all ages!

This text can be easily paired with "The Dreamer" by Pam Mun...more
Sarahi
Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People- Primary book #1

1. Pablo Neruda, poet of the people. What do you think that means “Poet of the People”? (give students time to answer)Well Pablo was a poet, and we will soon see why he decided to become one even though his father disliked him writing. Pablo, as you will see enjoyed writing about struggles people face, and that gave others courage to stand up for what they believed. Now as I read this book, I’m going to give time for you to look at each page caref...more
Amy
Having read Pam Munoz Ryan's "The Dreamer," I was familiar with Pablo Neruda's life. I appreciated how this story was composed for a younger audience, though it left out some details most adults might thing important. What the book doesn't leave out is the spirit of Neruda's work, and I loved the way the illustrations were made of words, both Spanish and English.
Cathy Blackler
Monica Brown's simple tale of the life of Pablo Neruda is made more powerful by the stunning illustrations of Julie Paschkis. Ribbons of text are woven throughout detailed illustrations that chronicle Neruda's life, I have heard of several teachers who use this text as a precursor to Pam Munoz Ryan's book, The Dreamer, also about Neruda.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
The illustrations in this one are fascinating. I need to go back and just look at the illustrations. The story is a simplified look at Neruda's life. I can see this being used in conjunction with The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan.
Justine
This is a 2012 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children Honor book. It's a story about Pablo Neruda and his love of poetry and people and how he could help people with his poetry. This is an informative book with amazing pictures that will keep the children's attention. It gender neutral and an ageless book.
Melissa
I liked this better than The Dreamer. Really enjoyed the colors, was entranced by the words in the illustrations, and thought the author did a good job of selecting the details that shape a life & a story.
Lynn
Illustrated with the swirls and whirls of words about his many topics flow throughout each page. must have been a very long list of words the author brainstormed to use here! The illustrations also curve with slightly subdued colors, and give readers the opportunity to examine the words in Spanish and English. A brief story of the Chilean poet's life, style ( he liked writing about opposites), and influences (simple things, the sea, and injustices of mine workers). The story is simplified for yo...more
Kelly Tromburg Frisk
The painted illustrations in this book are a grand combination of text in colored text boxes at the bottom and full bleed pictures. There are words in every illustration stressing the importance of the poet's affinity for words. Beautiful bright colors tell his story from boyhood to adulthood, his triumphs, and struggles. The back matter contains an author's note and further resources. He loved the people of Chile and wrote of their joys and sorrows. This book might be especially appealing for s...more
Rachel
This was another book nominated for the Mock Caldecott awards at my local public library. I decided to check this one out because Pablo Neruda is my favorite poet of all time. His poetry on everyday things, as well as his love poems, are so amazing. I was curious how they were going to make his life story into a picture book for children since he was a Communist and exiled from his home country for his viewpoints, but Monica Brown has managed to gloss over those parts and make a beautiful book a...more
Jill
Pablo Neruda, considered to be one of the greatest poets of the 20th Century, was born Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto in Chile in 1904. Because his father didn’t approve of his poetry, he came up with a pen name, Pablo Neruda. His poems are widely loved, and he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. Gabriel García Márquez, a writer from Colombia and a fellow Nobel laureate, has called Neruda "the most important poet of the 20th century - in any language."

[Neruda died in Chile in 19...more
Gabriela
“Once there was a little boy named Neftali, who loved wild things wildly and quiet things quietly", so begins the dreamy and enchanting picture book about the life of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Neruda's life is beautifully written and illustrated into a poetic journey by author Monica Brown and illustrator Julie Paschkis. The book accentuates the passion Pablo felt from a very young age about words, and his ability to find inspiration in everything around him. Author Monica Brown masterfully nar...more
Beverly Cagle
Monica Brown tells the story of Pablo Neruda through this beautifully written and illustrated picture book. At a young age Neftali, who uses the pen name Pablo Neruda, discovers his love for poetry at a young age. It is a very inspiring story of his life and about the many things that Neruda finds poetry in. Although, a sample of one of his poems is not included, the illustrations alone express the intensity of the value that Neruda put in words. This book expresses the idea of an infatuation th...more
Elizabeth Leonard
The Book Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People tells about the life of Neftali and his transition into the poet Pablo Neruda. Since Neftali was young he surrounded himself with words, he wasn't interested with the games the other children were interested with, he loved to read. Neftali took on the name Pablo Neruda when he was a teen and he began writing poems and publishing them. He moved to Santiago and walked the streets with other writers in attempt to share their writing with others. Pablo wrote...more
Lena
Grade/Interest Level: Upper Elementary (6th-8th)
Reading Level:Lexile, 970 AD
Genre: Picture Book, Poetry, Biography

Main Characters: Neftalí (Pablo Neruda)
Setting: Chile
POV: Third Person

Summary: There was a little boy named Neftalí who loved wild things and quiet things. From the moment he could talk, he surrounded himself with words. Neftalí discovered his interest in many things and book. When he was sixteen, he began publishing his poems as Pablo Neruda. Pablo wrote poems about the things he lo...more
Leigh
Audience: Pre-k through adult would enjoy this book

Appeal: “Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People” is an inspiring story about a young boy who finds joy in words and especially in writing poems. As a young boy he was not good in soccer like the other kids, so he found solace in reading. What I really liked about this book is that the poet could find a poem in anything and everything from scissors to joy to sadness to the sea. He wrote about the hardships of the coal miners and was even exiled from hi...more
Alison
Audience: primary

Genre: non-fiction - biography

Fiction Twin Text: Noyce, P. & Charles, J. (2011). Lost in lexicon: an adventure in words and numbers. New York, NY:Scarletta Press.

This book is a biographical account of the poet Pablo Neruda's life. It describes how he grew up in Chile, had a strong connection to nature, and became inspired by a teacher who urged him to begin writing. It details many of the things that Neruda loved, and wrote about. The author exemplifies this by noting, "in...more
Barbara
As is the case for many readers, I love books that feature lovers of words, whether they be readers and writers. This picture book biography of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda [his pen name]uses text and illustrations to highlight the life of the boy who became the man who won a Nobel Prize. The author uses lines such as "who loved wild things wildly and quiet things quietly" (unpaginated) and "dolphins playing in the surf and rusty anchors washed ashore" (unpaginated) to bring this observant poet of...more
Virginia Gonzalez
No dialogue...creates dialogue?
This book was not as entertaining as I thought it would be. At the same time, it was entertaining. I guess I would have to say that the fact that this book has absolutely no dialogue, it even lost my attention and the attention of my two year old. I am not sure if even a second grader would be able to keep interest in this book. Having said that, the illustrations are absolutely beautiful and creative. The book is about Pablo Neruda and words are hidden in the illu...more
Karen
Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica Brown


Much loved poet, Pablo Neruda, was known as Neftali until he became a teenager. Neftali changed his name because his father did not approve of him writing poetry. Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People tells of his life growing up in Chile and immersing himself in nature and reading books. He was encouraged by a teacher to write about the things around him. Pablo wrote about everyday items, seasons, weather, love, nature and all things that people could...more
Angelita
I enjoyed this book because it's a great way to introduce children to a great poet without worrying about the content. Neruda's poetry is wonderful, but some of it might be understood by the children. So the books talks about his life before he was a poet and while he was a poet. How he used anything as a muse. The artwork is wonderful too because you can see the words in the background in the blades of grass and trees, it's symbolic of how he saw things and found words to write. Great book!
Jan Rue
May 05, 2013 Jan Rue added it
Shelves: ed-689-books
Written by Monica Brown & Ill. by Julie Paschkis. Published 2011 by Holt & Co., New York. Art work done in watercolor. This is an interesting nonfiction book telling the life story of Pablo Nerruda, who is a poet from Chile. He is considered one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. He was a boy who loved to read and learn about things so he became a writer. He wrote about ordinary things he saw at home, the market place, the town. He loved to write about opposites. He wrote about c...more
Danielle
A beautiful book.
Especially the way English and Spanish words form the illustrations and inform the story.
What a great book, too, for getting students to write poetry about the specific things that surround them (and also to notice other things, injustices, they may begin to care about).
Chanel Alvarez
Jun 07, 2012 Chanel Alvarez rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Early Elementary Students
Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People is book about a little boy Neftali. Neftali wasn't good at the normal things that many other people were good at such as soccer and throwing acorns but he loved school. There was a teacher named Gabriela who gave him books to read and from then on he knew he wanted to be a writer. His father disapproved of this choice so Neftali publish under the name of Pablo Neruda. Pablo was a voice of the people. He opened his arms to everyone and would help everyone out. His...more
Liz
4.5 Stars
I did love this book. A picture book biography brought to life with beautiful illustrations filled with the words of Neruda. Of course I want more, but in my quest to read about people who made (or make) a difference in the world, this book definitely fits the bill! A Chilean poet who sought to change the world, Neruda also won the Nobel Prize for Literature. This book certainly needs a few more reads to really appreciate all of the art and word expressions that are shared. I loved meet...more
Doret
Beginning when Neruda was just a little boy with the given name Neftali. It shows the poet at different stages in his life in such a beautiful way that it's easy to get lost in his world.

Brown's text has a rhythm that would make any poet proud.

"Pablo loved the stones of Chile. He wrote about stones by waves onto the beach and stones polished by sand and salt."

Paschkis beautiful illustrations pop and adding more life to the story. I am a fan of Brown and Paschkis, so I was very happy to see ho...more
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Monica Brown, Ph.D. is the author of awardwinning bilingual books for children, including My Name Is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/Me llamo Celia: La vida de Celia Cruz (Luna Rising), a recipient of the Américas Award for Children's Literature and a Pura Belpré Honor. Her second picture book, My Name Is Gabriela: The Life of Gabriela Mistral/Me llamo Gabriela: La vida de Gabriela Mistral (Luna Ris...more
More about Monica Brown...
Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match / Marisol McDonald no combina Waiting for the Biblioburro My Name Is Gabito/Me Llamo Gabito: The Life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez/La Vida de Gabriel Garcia Marquez Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo Me Llamo Celia/My Name Is Celia: La Vida de Celia Cruz/The Life Of Celia Cruz

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