Ode to an Onion: Pablo Neruda & His Muse (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

When grown-ups come in and ask for a book on social justice for their 3-year-old, this is what I tell them: that this book shares how even poetry giant Pablo Neruda—who wrote of the injustices of the world and felt their burdens so deeply—eventually had to learn about simple beauty in the world around us. And that it was okay for him to write and feel deeply about that too. No word is wasted in this children's book, with pictures that perfectly complement the spare words. And the papers on each of the book block are made of onion skin!

— Word Up Founder - Veronica


A poetic, beautifully illustrated picture book inspired by Ode to the Onion by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904–1973).  Pablo has a lunch date with his friend Matilde, who shows the moody poet her garden. Where Pablo sees conflict and sadness, Matilde sees love and hope. The story is less a biography of Neruda and his muse, Matilde Urrutia (1912–1985), and more a simple ode to a vegetable that is humble and luminous, dark and light, gloomy and glad, full of grief and full of joy—just like life.
A Junior Library Guild Selection

About the Author

Alexandria Giardino is a writer and translator. Her work includes translating My Life with Pablo Neruda by Matilde Urrutia and her essays have appeared in the Village Voice Literary Supplement, Marie Claire, Discover, American Poetry Review, and on air at KQED. Giardino lives with her family in Northern California. Ode to an Onion is her first children’s book. Felicita Sala is the illustrator of several picture books. Sala lives in Rome with her family.

Praise For…

"Onionskin endpapers are a nice touch to an introduction to the Chilean poet who paid tribute to familiar objects."

— Booklist

"Sala's exuberant illustrations are playful and colorful . . . a sweet story about the creative process."

— Kirkus Reviews

"Children who love words should warm to Alexandria Giardino's ODE TO AN ONION: Pablo Neruda & His Muse . . . In Felicita Sala’s vivacious and beautifully detailed drawings, done in colored pencil, Mathilde’s smile and Pablo’s glum expression give a tender humor to this real-life relationship."

— New York Times

"A handsome book about appreciation."

— San Francisco Chronicle

"Gloomy versus hopeful. Therein lies the timeless tension between Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda and his wife-to-be in this lovingly envisioned and supremely handsome book."

— San Francisco Chronicle

"This one is a treat for the eyes and ears."

— Maria Russo, New York Times Children's Book Editor
Product Details
ISBN: 9781944903343
ISBN-10: 1944903348
Publisher: Cameron Kids
Publication Date: October 9th, 2018
Pages: 40
Language: English