Illustrator: Susan Jeffers
Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers on September 24, 2001 (first published 1978)
Genres: Picture Book, Poetry
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In this picture book version of Robert Frost's classic poem, Susan Jeffers adds exactly the right visual dimension with the exquisite details and sweeping backgrounds of her frosty New England scenes. There are animals to find among the trees, and the kindly figure with his "promises to keep" exudes warmth as he stops to appreciate the quiet delights of winter.
My mom and I were at the bookstore the other day looking for Christmas gifts and ran across this lovely little book. Happily, she bought it. I’m not sure if she’s keeping it or giving it to my niece, but either is a good choice.
I love introducing kids to classics before they can think they’re boring. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost is perfect for the season.
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Susan Jeffers illustrations are beautiful and cold with bits of color. It’s a perfect read aloud book, one to take your time with, appreciate the rhythm and rhyme of the poem, the quietness of the book. It’s not a bounce-around, toe-tapping kind of poem that many kids books are, but I think it’ll still cast a bit of a spell.