Cover image for My shadow
My shadow
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Mankato, MN : Creative Editions, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
An illustrated version of the familiar poem describing the attributes of a child's shadow.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.2 0.5 71824.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



The poems in Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses have been popular ever since the book's first appearance more than one hundred years ago, and none more so than "My Shadow," a traditional favorite for reading aloud. Glenna Lang has created a visual narrative depicting a young girl's travels through a dream nightscape with her shadow companion. Beautifully true to the sense and spirit of Stevenson's work, the illustrations add their own grace and rich atmosphere to that "little shadow that goes in nd out with me," and this edition provides a wonderful way to enjoy an old favorite bedtime poem with the youngest child.

Author Notes

Novelist, poet, and essayist Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. A sickly child, Stevenson was an invalid for part of his childhood and remained in ill health throughout his life. He began studying engineering at Edinburgh University but soon switched to law. His true inclination, however, was for writing. For several years after completing his studies, Stevenson traveled on the Continent, gathering ideas for his writing. His Inland Voyage (1878) and Travels with a Donkey (1878) describe some of his experiences there. A variety of essays and short stories followed, most of which were published in magazines. It was with the publication of Treasure Island in 1883, however, that Stevenson achieved wide recognition and fame. This was followed by his most successful adventure story, Kidnapped, which appeared in 1886.

With stories such as Treasure Island and Kidnapped, Stevenson revived Daniel Defoe's novel of romantic adventure, adding to it psychological analysis. While these stories and others, such as David Balfour and The Master of Ballantrae (1889), are stories of adventure, they are at the same time fine studies of character. The Master of Ballantrae, in particular, is a study of evil character, and this study is taken even further in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886).

In 1887 Stevenson and his wife, Fanny, went to the United States, first to the health spas of Saranac Lake, New York, and then on to the West Coast. From there they set out for the South Seas in 1889. Except for one trip to Sidney, Australia, Stevenson spent the remainder of his life on the island of Samoa with his devoted wife and stepson. While there he wrote The Wrecker (1892), Island Nights Entertainments (1893), and Catriona (1893), a sequel to Kidnapped. He also worked on St. Ives and The Weir of Hermiston, which many consider to be his masterpiece. He died suddenly of apoplexy, leaving both of these works unfinished. Both were published posthumously; St. Ives was completed by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, and The Weir of Hermiston was published unfinished. Stevenson was buried on Samoa, an island he had come to love very much.

Although Stevenson's novels are perhaps more accomplished, his short stories are also vivid and memorable. All show his power of invention, his command of the macabre and the eerie, and the psychological depth of his characterization.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3-7. Rather than following one child through the activities suggested in this classic poem, Rand skips about the world for a multicultural view of children and their shadowplay. The result is an exuberant version that revitalizes the familiar lines. Though varied in setting, the scenes, which stretch across double-page spreads, are unified by their impressionistic style, subtle colors, and joyful mood. Rand's broad interpretation of the poem implies that no matter what the skin color, facial features, or clothing may be, shadows are shadows and children are children, worldwide. In terms of child-appeal, this is the best picture-book edition of the poem in print. ~--Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Rand leads the reader through a joyful parade of children from all over the world in his rendition of the poem about a child playing with his shadow. A Chinese youngster plays kickball in front of a stone lion, a boy balances on the edge of a fountain in Italy, an African tyke stares at a puddle of shadow beneath his feet. Unfortunately, the Stevenson text, with its single narrator, is not well synchronized with the subjects of Rand's illustrations, who vary from page to page. For example, a girl in a garden is pictured saying, ``One morning . . . I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup.'' The sentence is completed by a group of children playing on an island beach who say, ``But my lazy little shadow . . . stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.'' Although Rand's often idyllic locales are gorgeously depicted, his settings may not always be clear to readers, adding further confusion to the artistic device. Ages 4-8. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-- Rand's joyous watercolors burble with vivacity, giving Stevenson's much-loved poem both vigor and exuberance . Carefree children swing on a tire, run up steps in an urban neighborhood, play ball before an Oriental temple, frolic around an Italian fountain, stroll with a British nurse, and dash along a South Sea beach, confirming the universality of children playing, and how, when the light is right, they all have shadows performing strange antics. Perhaps most striking is the spread for ``And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all''--an African mother and child in colorful native garb look down sedately at small puddles of shadows around their bare, upturned toes. The poem itself should be part of every child's literary background , and Rand's illustrations provide a new accessibility. Unity, peace , and harmony are woven into an exceptional book to share with children .--Virginia Opocensky, formerly at Lincoln City Libraries, NB (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.