The Illustrated Robert Frost

Bushel & Peck. (The Illustrated Poets Collection). Aug. 2022. 64p. $18.99. ISBN 9781638191063.
Gr 6 Up–In sections designated “Exploring Nature,” “Innocence & Inspiration,” and “Choice & Change,” Frost’s poems include the expected: “Birches,” “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” “The Road Not Taken,” “Fire and Ice,” “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” and “Mending Wall,” and the less well-known but excellent selections: “Mowing,” “The Oven Bird,” “Hyla Brook,” “Desert Places,” “The Wood-Pile,” and more. Dickinson’s are similarly ranged in “The Natural World,” “Ideas & Imagination,” and “Heart & Spirit.” Again, the familiar “Because I could not stop for Death” and the worth-knowing-better are here. Fans of each poet will miss some favorites, such as Dickinson’s “Wild Nights–Wild Nights!” and Frost’s “After Apple-Picking.” In a margin on the right of each spread, several words per poem are helpfully defined; however, boldfacing these words within the lines of the poem gives them an importance that changes the impact of the lines. Oddly, in Frost’s “The Door in the Dark,” the word “native” is defined, but “simile” is not. The margins also contain pertinent, thoughtful, original questions about the poems. Dickinson’s idiosyncratic punctuation has been slightly adjusted. Miles’s attractive collage illustrations were created digitally with bits of Modigliani, Van Gogh, Friedrich, and more among a lot of colorful 19th-century popular images. Back matter includes a summary and something to notice about each poem; this information extends and enhances readers’ experiences and adds greatly to these books’ values.
VERDICT Admirable introductions to poetry in general and to these poets in particular.

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