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Ode to an Onion: Pablo Neruda and His Muse
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Ode to an Onion: Pablo Neruda and His Muse

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  102 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A poetic, beautifully illustrated picture book inspired by Ode to the Onion by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904–1973).  Pablo has a lunch date with his friend Matilde, who shows the moody poet her garden. Where Pablo sees conflict and sadness, Matilde sees love and hope. The story is less a biography of Neruda and his muse, Matilde Urrutia (1912–1985), and more a simple ode ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by Cameron
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  102 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those looking for beautiful picture books with a philosophical message.
Recommended to Hilary by: Requested the library buys
What a wondeful story! This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of how Chilean poet Neruda Pablo goes to see his friend Matilde. Pablo is thinking of the world's injustices and feeling low, Matilde helps him to see that amidst the sorrow there is so much wonder and happiness. Matilde gathers vegetables to make their lunch and Pablo is struck by beauty of an onion, how it contains sweetness and bitterness and starts to write poetry about everyday objects. His Ode to an Onion is i ...more
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful first book that introduces small children to this giant of poetry - art is fantastic!
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations--I predict next Caldecott winner!

Poetry, sadness, hope
Mark Eisner
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is genius and beautifully poetic, the words and the illustrations, how they combine. I may be a biographer of Neruda but forget about Neruda's ode itself, forget about Neruda himself, this book is about what happens in the interaction between the characters, it's about the elements that inspire creativity and thoughtful expression, the elements that create the poetry in poems and the poetry of our lives. I hope this book brings a lot of joy and inspiration to many children.
Yevgenia Nayberg
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the most visually stunning books of the year!
Ah, ultimately, it's all about perspective, after all. Chilean poet Pablo Neruda often wrote about romance, love, and social issues. It can be hard to see much good in the world when preoccupied with the weighty concerns of injustice. In this picture book, readers learn about the inspiration behind his "Ode to an Onion" as he and his friend Matilde gather fruits and vegetables for a simple lunch. As they choose the makings for their meal, Pablo focuses on the negatives and hopelessness while Mat ...more
Beautiful language and illustrations. It’s not as flashy well known as many other picture books this year but there’s something incredibly special about this story about the famous poet Pablo Neruda.
Edward Sullivan
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A beautifully illustrated and designed picture book imagining the creative process that leads Neruda to write one of his famous odes. The onion skin endpapers are a lovely touch.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A sweet "back" story of Pablo Neruda's "Ode To An Onion" poem.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the back & forth
of sadness & happiness
between Pablo and Matilde.
Gorgeous artwork all the way
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Beautiful. Loved the gentle rapport between the two characters. Recommended for Neruda fans and old souls ages 5-8.
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful and beautifully illustrated picture book. I enjoyed looking at the detail in the illustrations. A sweet story about someone who is feeling sorrowful and a friend who is sunny, this may be an entry into discussing with children how to look at their own feelings in a positive, creative way.
Kimberly Wright Oelkers
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! I learned a lot about Pable Neruda. I love learning about history through picture book biographies.
Katrina Clohessy
Based on the life and work of poet Pablo Neruda, this story demonstrates how optimism can change a person’s perspective...and even lead to a simple poem about the humble onion! 26 pages.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda is having a bad day. Then he meets up with his friend, the lovely Matilde. Matilde has the soul of a poet—she sees an unexpected beauty in everything. With simple, yet colorful pictures, the writer and illustrator coax us through an afternoon spent gathering the ingredients and preparing a simple yet delightful meal.

Mr. Neruda had a startling gift for metaphor and simile. The pictures make the words come alive and you see how a smile can be as wide as a guitar or an
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A beautifully written book that imagines the creative process behind the poem, Ode to the Onion by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Pablo is feeling gloomy about everything during the writing of a long, sad poem. Then he realizes it’s time for his lunch date with his lively friend Matilde. With a big bunch of poppies in hand he arrives at her home. They stroll through the garden and with Matilde as his guide, his sadness lifts as he discovers a happier way to look at life even at a simple onion. The p ...more
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Wonderful illustrations on heavy matte paper make this picture book feel like an art journal. Mathilde is a vibrant red-headed mother earth juxtaposed with Pablo the brooding poet. All through the garden she sees joy and purpose where he sees only loss and sorrow until he sees the luminosity of the peeled onion. Includes the full text of Neruda's poem, Ode to an Onion, in both English and Spanish. A beautiful book to pair with Neruda, Poet of the People.
Rebecca Ann
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
The artwork in this book is stunning! This true-story follows singer Matilde Urrutia and poet Pablo Neruda. In this snapshot of a moment in their lives, we get a touching yet down-to earth tale of ho Urrutia helped Neruda appreciate life and inspired his art.
Denise Menger
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations--I predict next Caldecott winner!

Poetry, sadness, hope
Melissa Mcavoy
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4 1/2 stars. Spectacular illustrations and an interesting conversation between a poet who is taking life too seriously and a woman who revels in the intertwined joys and sadness the world offers.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a really beautiful book about how Pablo Neruda was inspired by his wife and the simple pleasures of growing and eating food, in this case, an onion.
Ms Threlkeld
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lovely peek into Neruda’s mind.
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