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When I Was a Boy Neruda Called Me Policarpo

Written by Poli Delano

Translated by Sean A. Higgins

Illustrated by Manuel Monroy

  • 96 Pages
  • 9780888997265
  • 8.810" x 5.810"
  • Reading age from 9 to 12
  • JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Literary
  • JUVENILE NONFICTION / People & Places / United States / Hispanic & Latino
  • JUVENILE NONFICTION / People & Places / Caribbean & Latin America


Publication Date February 11, 2006

Poli Delano had a magical childhood connection to the great Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda. He and his parents, who were Chilean diplomats, lived with Neruda in Mexico.

This book is Poli's charming memoir of those magical days with the Nerudas. He learned a wide array of things from Tio Pablo -- from how to swim to what fate is.

Pablo Neruda is one of the most widely read and beloved writers in the world. He was a politically engaged man until his death, just days after the fall of Allende's government in Chile in 1973. He was full of an almost child-like sense of joy, a love of nature and women, and a great enthusiasm for the world. This book can serve as an introduction to Neruda for the North American child. In addition to the text of the memoir, there is a short biography of the poet and a selection of his most accessible poems.

Winner of the International Latino Book Awards - Best Young Adult Nonfiction - English 2007


Poli Delano
Poli Delano is the award-winning author of more than twenty novels and books of short stories. He spent his childhood in Mexico, where he returned for eleven years during the Pinochet dictatorship in his country. He is now living in Chile once again.

Sean A. Higgins

Manuel Monroy
Manuel Monroy is one of Mexico’s most accomplished illustrators whose work has appeared in children’s books, in magazines, on posters, and most recently in animation projects. He has won many awards, including the A la Orilla del Viento prize, given by the Fondo de Cultura Economica; the Noma Concours in Japan; a Gold World Medal for Art Direction at the New York Film Festival, and a Merit Mention from the Society of Publication Designers. His work has also been included on the IBBY Honour List and in the White Ravens catalogue. Manuel has illustrated many children’s books, which have been published in Canada and the United States, such as Daybreak, Nightfall (Alba y ocaso) and Rooster Gallo, both by poet Jorge Luján; When I Was a Boy Neruda Called Me Policarpo by Poli Delano; and What Are You Doing? by Elisa Amado. He has also exhibited his art in Mexico, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands. He lives in Mexico City.


"...well written, and filled with interesting details that will open up a new and exotic world to intermediate readers." School Library Journal

"...full of charming and candid detail..." Horn Book

"Both dramatic and humorous..." School Library Journal

"Delano's collection is sweet and endearing - as quirky as its subject matter and a compelling choice for the child who loves to dream." Multicultural Review

"This was a refreshingly original and enjoyable read." Resource Links

"[es] a splendid job of dispelling the notion that poetry is all about hearts, flowers, and the sunny side of life." Canadian Literature