by Pam Muñoz Ryan & Peter Sís
Neftalí Reyes is a daydreamer. Words and nature call to him and his imagination soars. Even though he is often teased and belittled by other children or his harsh father, he doesn't change who he is. He uses his words to express love and to right injustice. But the fear remains. So he changes his name to Pablo Neruda, and sends his poems around the world.
In her fictional biography, Pam Muñoz Ryan uses poems, thoughtprovoking questions, and emotional prose to create a moving story of self-discovery, while Peter Sís's delicate, mesmerizing drawings take readers through the rainforest, the sea, and Neftalí's fanciful imagination.
An author's note provides more insights into the real Neruda, as do some of his poems.
Here's an excerpt:
I scarcely knew, by myself, that I existed,
that I'd be able to be, and go on being.
I was afraid of that, of life itself.
I didn't want to be seen,
I didn't want my existence to be known.
Walking, I pressed myself against the wall
like a shadow slipping away. . . .