Kirkus Reviews QR Code
NIGHT GARDEN by Janet S. Wong


Poems From the World of Dreams

by Janet S. Wong

Pub Date: March 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-689-82617-6
Publisher: McElderry

From Wong (The Rainbow Hand, p. 231, etc.), a collection of 15 soulful poems that commands attention and keeps until the end, with a canny, singular take on the familiar imagery of dreamtime. These are episodes of remembrance and genesis, falling and flying, of speaking an unknown language with facility, of the bite of an inexorable nightmare. Short and vivid, the poems urge readers to “pull/at the air around you/when you wake,/pull and gulp it down” to keep alive the presence of the departed who have just visited the dreamer. Wong can be skip-quick to suggest evanescence, or her words can flutter with fear; she can be exquisitely funny, as when a sibling eavesdrops on a sister who is talking and laughing in her sleep—about the eavesdropper. Paschkis is equal to the task of illustrating these poems, with two-page spreads presented as mirror-image two-toned diptychs, bursting with glyphs and portents across dream-crazed backgrounds, with the text scrolling across one page and the full-color image undulating from the other. (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)