It’s been awhile since I’ve joined the Poetry Friday community. To welcome the New Year and to also share our current reading theme on love, I thought I might as well step in this week, and give Fats and Iphigene a slight reprieve. Thank you to Bookseedstudio for hosting this week.
Written By: José Jorge Letria Illustrated by: André Letria Translated and Adapted by: Maurice Riordan
Published by: Wingedchariot Press, 2006
ISBN: 1905341008 (ISBN13: 9781905341009). Borrowed through inter-library loan from Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
I learned about Portuguese father-and-son author-illustrator while I was a research fellow at the International Youth Library in Munich last year. When I discovered that they have a translated poetry book in English, I immediately hunted it down from the library.
The subtitle indicated that it is a collection of “poems to read with children on moonlit nights” and is dedicated to “Rodrigo who has just arrived.” Think of a gorgeously illustrated, evocative book of poems with a distinct message of love that feels very much like a grandparent reading rhythmic verse to his grandchild.
It is a love that spans the entire universe, as the moon itself has been asked to sing songs to a young one who “just arrived.” While I am generally not a fan of rhyming text, and I did feel that something may have been lost in translation here, it remains a precious book that deserves to be snuggled with.
I also love André Letria’s art – the bold bright strokes, the brilliant blues, and the images that extend outside of the page, such is its grand scale, like a love that can not ever be contained.
There is also an eerie trademark to Letria’s art that has the taste of magical realism, which is a perfect fit to Jose Jorge Letria’s fanciful imaginings filled with so much soul, like cerulean heart-songs.
This luminous book is also a tribute to the written word, to lilting verse, and to family and heritage. Find it and have the moon recite a poem to you and your little ones.
#LitWorld2018GB Update: 6 of 40 (Portugal)