Papa Is a Poet

A Story About Robert Frost

This post joins other
kidlit bloggers on the
Nonfiction Monday Roundup
and also joins It's Monday!
What are you reading?

(pub.10.15.2013)  40 pages 

A True Tale with 
A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Natalie S. Bober
           and Illustrator: Rebecca Gibbon
haracter:  Robert Frost - poet 

O verview from the back cover: 

      "When Robert Frost was a child, his family thought he would grow up to be a baseball player. Instead, he became a poet. His life on a farm in New Hampshire inspired him to write 'poetry that talked,' and today he is famous for his vivid descriptions of the rural life he loved so much.
      There was a time, though, when Frost had to struggle to get his poetry published. Told from the point of view of Lesley, Robert Frost's oldest daughter, this is the story of how a lover of language found his voice."

T antalizing taste: 

      "Papa thought that any book worth reading twice was worth owning. So instead of buying desserts, we bought books.
     Papa told us to reread stories we remembered with pleasure. He wanted us to enjoy books so much that we would be lonely without them. And he told us to memorize poems in order to know them by heart...
     Papa did things his way. He decided to milk his cow at midnight so he could stay awake and read Shakespeare and write poems in the hush of a sleeping household."

and something more: What a wonderful idea for a book about Robert Frost -- to focus on Frost's choice to pursue a life as a poet, and thereby take a road "less traveled by...that has made all the difference."
      I was curious as to why the author, Natalie S. Bober, chose to write Papa Is A Poet from the first person perspective of Frost's oldest daughter, Lesley. The Author's Note explains that "Lesley and her father had a close relationship and very early on he taught her to read and write. In 1905, when she was not quite six years old, he encouraged her to keep a journal of her 'travels and adventures' around and near the farm. She kept the journal until she was ten. Much of what Lesley says in this story has been adapted from that journal and from [Bober's] biography, A Restless Spirit: The Story of Robert Frost, written some years ago for young adult readers."
     The book includes a lovely Robert Frost quotation: "A poem is a momentary stay against confusion... a voyage in discovery [that] begins in delight and ends in wisdom. The figure is the same for love."


Rosi said...

I didn't know about this book, but I will definitely be checking it out. I love Robert Frost's work and think it would be great to know more about him and share that with my grandchildren. Thanks for telling me about it.

Jeff Barger said...

Why hasn't anyone written a picture book about Frost before? Did I miss one? This is a great find. Kids love Stopping By the Woods this time of year. Thanks for sharing!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Rosi, Thanks for stopping by! I see that you're a writer and teacher so it's no surprise that you love Robert Frost's poems. I think you'll enjoy the book.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Jeff! I know... great topic, right?! And it's a really interesting book. Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by... the blog, that is.

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi there Jeanne! I've been seeing this one around and I've been meaning to find it in our libraries. Will most definitely add this to the text-set I'd introduce my teacher-students to next semester. Love the entire feel of this book, based on reviews I've been reading.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Myra, Yes, I think students will be inspired by Robert Frost's life, told from the perspective of his daughter -- interesting approach. Thanks for stopping by!

Cathy Ballou Mealey said...

I really love this book! Jama Rattigan posted a fascinating interview with Natalie Bober in September if you are interested in more of the background on this book: http://bit.ly/Jbh6Go

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Cathy! Thanks for stopping by and sharing the link to the Natalie Bober interview. I love reading author interviews. I'm off to read it ...