Libro de las preguntas (Ilustrado)

Libro de las preguntas (Ilustrado) / Book of Questions

Illustrated Book , 2022

Enchanted Lion

Pages: 80

Grand Prix BIB Award 2023, Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava / A NYT Best Children’s Book of 2022 / A Marginalian Favorite Book of 2022 / Selected for the Academy of American Poets 2022 Featured Fall Books List for Young Readers

“Book of Questions,” was completed just months before Pablo Neruda's death in 1973, and is his last great work of poetry. By turns lyrical and cosmic, dreamlike and nonsensical, paradoxical and playful, each of these unanswerable questions asks us to set aside certainty and constraint and to enter into the vastness of the unknown. With riddles like “Where is the center of the sea? / Why don’t waves break there?” and “What do you call a flower / that flits from bird to bird?”, Neruda inspires us to unravel our assumptions and re-envision our relationship to nature. The only answer that is sure to arise from these questions is a closer observation of and reflection on the world in which we live, and a renewed sense of curiosity and wonder at our shared universe..

"These poems, more so than any of Neruda's other work, remind us that living in a state of visionary surrender to the elemental questions, free of the quiet desperation of clinging too tightly to answers, may be our greatest act of faith." William O'Daly

“This work... brings together 74 poems shaped around mysterious, playful, frequently metaphysical questions about nature, constellations, memory, numbers, oceans, the interior life of the mind. Not one of the questions contained in this book resolves an issue of fact. These questions raise other questions. They suggest ideas... It’s good news that Neruda’s question poems (39 of the original 74) have been freshly translated into English by Sara Lissa Paulson and presented for the first time in picture book form, with stylized, dreamlike illustrations by the Chilean artist Paloma Valdivia—English on one side of the page, Spanish on the other... This is a physically beautiful book. Neruda likely would have approved of the way Valdivia has made his dream world real.” —Joyce Maynard, New York Times

“Compiled throughout his life and published a year after his death in 1973, Neruda's thoughtful and playful questions are well known in Latin American literature. Now, a new bilingual, illustrated selection of Neruda's questions has been published by Enchanted Lion Books, giving anglophone readers—and especially children—an opportunity to interrogate the world along with the Chilean poet… The new edition is meant for everyone in the family. The book is large and contains playful fold-out pages and whimsical illustrations that help bring readers into the imaginative world of the questions… In illustrating these questions, Valdivia didn't want to hint at any answers. In fact, part of the magic of Neruda's questions is not that the reader finds an answer but rather finds even more questions.“ —NPR

Book of Questions now comes alive in a stunning bilingual picture-book, illustrated by Chilean artist Paloma Valdivia. Given Valdivia’s roots and her personal resonance with Neruda, many of the illustrated questions are chosen for and filtered through the lens of landscape and its ecosystems. Of Neruda’s original questions—each of them unanswerable, all of them worth asking, crackling with some vital spark of playfulness or poignancy—seventy come ablaze amid the vibrant illustrations and fold-out delights, radiant with the colors and textures of Latin American tapestry. Out of the totality arises a larger sense of reckoning—a person of uncommon soulfulness and sensitivity to the subterranean strata of life, approaching the end of his days with a cascade of curiosity, singing the ultimate question: What is all this?" —Maria Popova, The Marginalian (formerly Brain Pickings)

“Blues and reds and yellows weave in and out of words trailing one after another, poking and prodding the universe for answers to millennia-old questions. Sixty of the original 316 questions penned by the inimitable Chilean poet Pablo Neruda perch on vibrant landscapes solo, in pairs, or in trilling triplets. Each rumination is compelling in its whimsy, yet profound in its simplicity. Just as a wish cast onto the heavens returns with a treasure, so too do the thoughts of the poet.  The answers, like the questions, dwell in infinity. Both the original Spanish and Paulson’s English translation mirror the poignancy echoing from one tongue to the next. Her translations sustain the lyricism of Neruda’s dreamscapes. Valdivia’s stylized illustrations are striking and a perfect counterpoint to this wondrous collection of ethereal literary images. A lovely exploration of diversity, language, and culture, and a splendid introduction to Neruda’s works for the very young.” —STARRED REVIEW, School Library Journal

“Selections from Neruda’s final work come magically to life with inventive illustrations in this bilingual volume… Readers will be enchanted by their mind-expanding whimsy and creativity. ‘Does the earth chirp like a cricket / in the symphony of the skies? // Who shouted for joy / when the color blue was born?’ is accompanied by a charcoal cricket standing against a dizzying swoop of blue expanse and the curve of rising mountains and vegetation... A gorgeous work that stretches the imagination and delights the senses.” —STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus

“This lavish volume includes excerpts from Neruda’s Libro de las preguntas in the original Spanish alongside new English translations by Paulson. Valdivia’s expansive illustrations give readers plenty of space to dwell on each question. The questions themselves, mostly arranged as couplets, have no answers and often imaginative premises: ‘Who shouted for joy / when the color blue was born?’ ‘Where can you find a bell / that rings inside your dreams?’ Frequent gatefolds function as transitions between related illustrations (a peaceful mountain scene becomes a volcanic eruption, with similar changes in the flora and fauna) or as pauses between related questions (‘Why do trees hide / the splendor of their roots?’ [gatefold] ‘So, how do roots know / they must rise up to the light?’). Back matter includes notes about the source material and its meaning from the illustrator, editor, and translator. Endlessly perusable—as long as you have the elbow room—the book is perfectly pitched to encourage students to write their own question poems.” —STARRED REVIEW, The Horn Book

 “Similar to Jostein Gaarder’s Questions Asked, this unusual collection will speak to thoughtful young readers who appreciate enigmas.”—STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly

“If I were asked to describe the book in one word, it’d be wonder. It’s utterly wonder-filled. These questions marvel at the mystery of our world…Valdivia’s highly textured illustrations are mesmerizing dreamscapes in teals, vermilions, and yellows. They play with scale and perspective in visually rich ways. And the book’s thoughtful design includes more than one gatefold and endless visual surprises. It’s a book that young thinkers—deep thinkers—will savor. It’s a book that demands time in the best way. It yields big rewards for readers who linger, taking in the wonder and curiosity of it all.” —Julie Danielson, Seven Impossible Things

"Neruda’s Questions plumbs the depths of imagination, existence, earth and its life with a curiosity that is free-ranging and mind-expanding. 'Which is more difficult, to sprout or to reap?' 'How many questions are in a cat?' There’s much for any age to ponder in this lavishly illustrated English/Spanish anthology that relishes questions with uncertain answers." —Toronto Star

“All of Neruda’s questions are brief, and no more than three to four are presented on any page. This makes the book approachable, allowing the reader to ponder a few questions at a time. The full page illustrations by Chilean-born Paloma Valdivia borrow inspiration from plants, animals, even outer space. Some illustrations open out to even larger panels, adding to the book’s wonder and surprise. The Book of Questions/Libro de las preguntas would be a beautiful gift volume for a bilingual family, or for a child who loves to ask questions. It would also be appreciated by any fan of Neruda’s poetry. Because picture books are for everyone, this book would easily fit in a secondary or university classroom, whether discussing poetry, creative writing, or even philosophy. Picture books are more than what they seem, as are children’s questions. Both can reveal truths to us, if we are only willing to see.” —World Kid Lit

"39 of the 74 poems [of Book of Questions] are represented in this version, all present in vastness, open-endedness, and immense creativity... The illustrations support the atmosphere of the wondrous questions, housed on large pages with dark colors. Book of Questions brings Neruda's genius to a whole new generation of readers who may never have heard of Neruda otherwise. And the best part of this edition is how it includes the original lines in Spanish alongside the English text, paying homage to Neruda's work in its full package." —Outside in World