Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday
Here at Teach Mentor Texts we are always looking for more ways to support teachers! We've found that teachers seem to be constantly on the lookout for great nonfiction. We know we are! To help with this undying quest for outstanding non-fiction, we are excited to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives. Every Wednesday, you'll find a non-fiction review here - although it may not always be a picture book review. Please visit Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives to see what non-fiction others have to share, too.

Title: Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People 
Author: Monica Brown 
Illustrator: Julie Paschkis 
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: March 2011 
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction-Biography/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: 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, things found at the marketplace, and things he saw in nature. He wrote about the people of Chile and their stories of struggle. Because above all things and above all words, Pablo Neruda loved people.

What I Think: When I read or hear the name Pablo Neruda, it brings to mind wonderful memories of my grandmother. My grandmother has always loved to read and write poetry. When she was young, she read all of the books in her small local library...even the adult books she probably shouldn't have been reading. She can recite poems and tell jokes and stories by heart in a snap. In college, my husband had to remember and recite one of Neruda's most famous love poems. When she found out, she would ask him to recite the poem often and then she would join in and they would recall the words together. It is a family memory that I will always remember.
     Pam Munoz Ryan did an absolutely phenomenal job with Dreamer, which tells a fictional account of Neruda's childhood. I called my grandmother right away to tell her about Dreamer as soon as I finished it. I especially loved reading about how Neruda believed in hope and that he always wrote in green ink because green represented hope. My grandmother's favorite color is green and her name is Esperanza, which means "hope" in Spanish.  
     I was excited to find this picture book about Pablo Neruda's life to share with younger readers! (Much of his writing is very sensual and I'm not sure how much is really appropriate for kids...but the story of his life and how he came to become a writer and poet is so important.) The artwork in this picture book matches the strength and whimsy that seems to represent who Neruda was as a person. He truly did have a strong will and a determination in his writing and his beliefs. I'm sure his story will inspire readers.
Read Together: Grades 1 - 6 
Read Alone: Grades 1 - 12 
Read With: Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan  
Snatch of Text: 
"Once there was a boy
named Neftali, who loved wild
things wildly and quiet things
From the moment he could 
talk, he surrounded himself
with words. Neftali discovered
the magic between the pages of
books. When he was sixteen, he
began publishing his poems
as Pablo Neruda." 
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Inferences, Making Connections 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative  
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you believed so strongly in something. How did you support this belief, fight for it, defend it? 
Topics Covered: Family, Dreams, Passions, Beliefs, Values, Writing, People, Relationships
I *heart* It:

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