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“The inner life of a young boy growing up in Chile, confined to bed with illness and bullied by his father, is beautifully illuminated by the words of Ryan and the illustrations of Sis. We are not surprised to learn that Neftali, observant of every detail in the natural world, treasuring the words he hears and reads, and sympathetic to the plight of the native people, grows up to become the beloved poet Pablo Neruda.”
— Ellen Sandmeyer, Sandmeyer's Bookstore, Chicago, IL
Winner of the 2011 Pure Belpre Award for fiction now in an elegant paperback edition!
From the time he is a young boy, Neftali hears the call of a mysterious voice. He knows he must follow it--even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself. It leads him under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain, until finally, he discovers its source.
Combining elements of magical realism with biography, poetry, literary fiction, and sensorial, transporting illustrations, Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sís take readers on a rare journey of the heart and imagination.
Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor
Pura Belpre Award winner
Booklist Editors' Choices
NYPL 100 Best Children's Book
A Kirkus Best Children's Book
*This book has all the feel of a classic, elegant and measured, but deeply rewarding and eminently readable.”Booklist, starred review
*rich, resonant and enchanting.”Kirkus, starred review
*[A] masterful tribute.”Horn Book, starred review
*An immaculately crafted and inspiring piece of magical realism.”Publishers Weekly, starred review
*Absorbingthe perfect marriage of text and art.”School Library Journal, starred review
Ryan’s hypnotic text, inspired by the childhood of Pablo Neruda, is brought to life by the extraordinary art of Peter Sis.”New York Times Book Review
A phantasmagorical rumination on the childhood of the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda is rooted in a belief that words possess the power to mend the spirit and change the world.”Smithsonian Notable List