Pura Belpré Award Winner
A tender, transcendent, and meticulously crafted novel from Newbery Honoree, Pam Muñoz Ryan, and three-time Caldecott Honoree, Peter Sís!
From the time he is a young boy, Neftalí hears the call of a mysterious voice. Even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself, Neftalí knows he cannot ignore the call. He listens and follows as it leads him under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain on an inspiring voyage of self-discovery that will transform his life and, ultimately, the world.
Combining elements of magical realism with biography, poetry, literary fiction, and transporting illustrations, Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sís take readers on a rare journey of the heart and imagination as they explore the inspiring early life of the poet who became Pablo Neruda.
Ryan's (Paint the Wind) wandering and imaginative prose and S s's (The Wall) quietly haunting art fuse in this fictionalized account of Pablo Neruda's upbringing in the small town of Temuco, Chile. Precocious, terribly shy, and insightful, Neruda (known then by his birth name, Neftal Reyes) is curious about all facets of life, particularly the wonders of nature. He stood, captivated, feeling small and insignificant, and at the same time as if he belonged to something much grander, writes Ryan when Neftal first sees the ocean. His role model is his uncle Orlando, who owns the local newspaper, but his domineering father has no patience for the boy's daydreaming and love of reading and writing, which ultimately provokes Neftal 's passion for finding his own voice. Printed in green ink (as is the text), S s's stippled illustrations provide surreal visual teasers for each chapter. Larger images pair with poetic questions ( Is fire born of words? Or are words born of fire? ) that echo Neruda's The Book of Questions. Stressing the importance of following dreams and staying determined, the book is an immaculately crafted and inspiring piece of magical realism. Ages 9 14.
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5th Grade Teacher
Masterful use of imagery and emotion combined with relevant historical impact! Beautiful
Amazing book, gives the reader insight as to what Pablo Neruda's personal life was like during his childhood. A great read if you want to find out more about this well-known poet or just looking for a good book. The illustations, combined with short verses, also add to the story.
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