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^-5. In this picture-book version of Stevenson's poem "My Shadow," the illustrations show a modern child who finds delight in observing his own shadow. The line-and-watercolor artwork interprets the words cleverly, yet the paintings, washed with gentle shades of harmonious colors, are utterly simple and straightforward. Although Ted Rand's illustrations for his version of this classic poem may set the standard, there's still a place on library shelves for this cheerful edition, which will surely appeal to young children. --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

K-Gr 3-This series stands apart from other poetry sets for youngsters by focusing on one poem per book, giving readers a chance to savor every word. With a different artist for each title, the illustrations are as unique as the poems. The full texts, as well as a note about what makes a poem a poem, appear at the end. A short biography of the poet and illustrator complete each volume. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.