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IN THE NIGHT GARDEN by Barbara Joosse

IN THE NIGHT GARDEN

By Barbara Joosse (Author) , Elizabeth Sayles (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8050-6671-5
Publisher: Henry Holt

Three girls use the power of their imaginations to transform themselves. Just before bedtime, a trio of friends frolics in the garden, each pretending to be her favorite animal. Joosse’s adroit wordcraft uses visceral imagery, conveyed in sparse yet evocative language, to conjure up the creature each child has envisioned, whether it be a foraging bear with snapping teeth, a singing whale or a lonesome, howling sled dog. The ingenious play extends through the nightly rituals, as “bear,” “whale” and “sled dog” prepare for slumber. The magical tale unfolds with little verbal fanfare, the author’s tidy prose conveying maximum effect and encouraging readers to unfurl their own imaginations. Sayles’s acrylic-and-pastel illustrations seamlessly complement the story. With ethereal images rendered in a soothing blend of evening hues, her artful merging of each child’s actual and imagined self is simply stunning. This lovely tale is bound to be a favorite request at bedtime. (Picture book. 4-8)