Book of Questions

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Product Details

$22.95  $21.34
Enchanted Lion Books
Publish Date
9.0 X 12.2 X 0.6 inches | 1.65 pounds

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About the Author

Pablo Neruda (Parral, Chile, 1904 - Santiago de Chile, Chile, 1973), whose real name was Neftalí Reyes Basoalto, is undoubtedly one of the pinnacles of world poetry of the last century. Famous from a very young age, he lived in Santiago from 1920 to 1927, years in which he wrote, among others, the collection of poems "Twenty love poems and a Song of Despair," which has perhaps gained widest popularity of all his work and marks the moment when he first achieves his full powers as a Spanish-language poet. Neruda traveled extensively and and served as Chile's ambassador to several countries, including Burma, France, and Argentina. He was a prominent political activist, member of the Communist Party, and a militant intellectual. Endowed with incomparable verbal power, he also founded a revolutionary conception of poetry. His literary career is one of the main expressive adventures of the lyric in the Spanish language. In awarding him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971, the Swedish Academy described him as a poet "who brings to life the destinies and dreams of an entire continent." Neruda was also awarded the International

Peace Prize.

Born in Chile in 1978, Paloma Valdivia studied design at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and studied Creative Illustration at the Eina School of Art and Design in Barcelona, Spain. Her main passion is illustrated books for children. Her book have been translated into 12 languages. As a teacher, she directs the degree program in "Illustration and Autobiographical Narrative" at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. She lives in Santiago with her family.


"This work... brings together 74 poems shaped around mysterious, playful, frequently metaphysical questions about nature, constellations, memory, numbers, oceans, the interior life of the mind. Not one of the questions contained in this book resolves an issue of fact. These questions raise other questions. They suggest ideas... It's good news that Neruda's question poems (39 of the original 74) have been freshly translated into English by Sara Lissa Paulson and presented for the first time in picture book form, with stylized, dreamlike illustrations by the Chilean artist Paloma Valdivia--English on one side of the page, Spanish on the other... This is a physically beautiful book. Neruda likely would have approved of the way Valdivia has made his dream world real." --Joyce Maynard, New York Times"Compiled throughout his life and published a year after his death in 1973, Neruda's thoughtful and playful questions are well known in Latin American literature. Now, a new bilingual, illustrated selection of Neruda's questions has been published by Enchanted Lion Books, giving anglophone readers--and especially children--an opportunity to interrogate the world along with the Chilean poet... The new edition is meant for everyone in the family. The book is large and contains playful fold-out pages and whimsical illustrations that help bring readers into the imaginative world of the questions... In illustrating these questions, Valdivia didn't want to hint at any answers. In fact, part of the magic of Neruda's questions is not that the reader finds an answer but rather finds even more questions." --NPR★ "Blues and reds and yellows weave in and out of words trailing one after another, poking and prodding the universe for answers to millennia-old questions. Sixty of the original 316 questions penned by the inimitable Chilean poet Pablo Neruda perch on vibrant landscapes solo, in pairs, or in trilling triplets. Each rumination is compelling in its whimsy, yet profound in its simplicity. Just as a wish cast onto the heavens returns with a treasure, so too do the thoughts of the poet. The answers, like the questions, dwell in infinity. Both the original Spanish and Paulson's English translation mirror the poignancy echoing from one tongue to the next. Her translations sustain the lyricism of Neruda's dreamscapes. Valdivia's stylized illustrations are striking and a perfect counterpoint to this wondrous collection of ethereal literary images. A lovely exploration of diversity, language, and culture, and a splendid introduction to Neruda's works for the very young." --STARRED REVIEW, School Library Journal★ "Selections from Neruda's final work come magically to life with inventive illustrations in this bilingual volume... Readers will be enchanted by their mind-expanding whimsy and creativity. Chilean artist Valdivia's stylized artwork, executed predominantly in blues, reds, and yellows against black or white backgrounds, feels grounded in folk-art traditions. Created with pencil and ink, with photographs in the illustrator's note showing the work in progress, the full-page art is visually captivating and enhanced with texture--lines, splatters, blotting--both complementing and extending the text. 'Does the earth chirp like a cricket / in the symphony of the skies? // Who shouted for joy / when the color blue was born?' is accompanied by a charcoal cricket standing against a dizzying swoop of blue expanse and the curve of rising mountains and vegetation... Exquisite endpapers pay tribute to the universe contained within. A gorgeous work that stretches the imagination and delights the senses." --STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus★ "This lavish volume includes excerpts from Neruda's Libro de las preguntas in the original Spanish alongside new English translations by Paulson. Valdivia's expansive illustrations give readers plenty of space to dwell on each question. The questions themselves, mostly arranged as couplets, have no answers and often imaginative premises: 'Who shouted for joy / when the color blue was born?' 'Where can you find a bell / that rings inside your dreams?' Frequent gatefolds function as transitions between related illustrations or as pauses between related questions. Back matter includes notes about the source material and its meaning from the illustrator, editor, and translator. Endlessly perusable--as long as you have the elbow room--the book is perfectly pitched to encourage students to write their own question poems." --STARRED REVIEW, The Horn Book
"If I were asked to describe the book in one word, it'd be wonder. It's utterly wonder-filled. These questions marvel at the mystery of our world...Valdivia's highly textured illustrations are mesmerizing dreamscapes in teals, vermilions, and yellows. They play with scale and perspective in visually rich ways. And the book's thoughtful design includes more than one gatefold and endless visual surprises. It's a book that young thinkers--deep thinkers--will savor. It's a book that demands time in the best way. It yields big rewards for readers who linger, taking in the wonder and curiosity of it all." --Julie Danielson, Seven Impossible Things