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The Night Gardener

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  5,219 ratings  ·  761 reviews
One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William’s gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William—and his town—are changed forever.
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published February 16th 2016 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published February 2016)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,219 ratings  ·  761 reviews


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Mischenko
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was first drawn to The Night Gardener because of the title and cover. I snatched it up and I'm so glad I did. The book is an effortless read but what makes it so remarkable is the beautiful and mysterious story, paired with the illustrations. We all loved it. It's certainly magnificent and magical.

5*****
Sheri
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A community comes together to enjoy the beauty of nature around them after everyday trees transform into beautiful topiaries. Just as in the neighborhood, the detailed illustrations in the book bring the story to life. Very enjoyable read!
Laura
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

The Night Gardener is about the impression and long lasting effects magic and art can make on a soul and a community. Long after the “ooohs” and “aaahh”s fade away—the hope and energy of a creation or magical moment remain. Magic is out there for all to see, feel, find, and change us!

A secret night gardener slowly transforms Grimloch Lane into a circus of wonder one tree and shrub at a time. The magic of the gardener’s work brings the people together to dream and guess and experience. Come see!
...more
Archit Ojha
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks
The Night Garden is a garden of one's dreams. A book like this should not be missed.

Art. Magic. Imagination. Humorous.
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
The beautifully illustrated picture book that tells the story of a mysterious gardener who comes out at home and creates visual displays in trees and shrubs in a small community, leaving others to wonder who he/she really is. Lovely read!
Melki
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidstuff, gardening
A dull gray neighborhood is transformed when the Night Gardener arrives with his hedge trimmers.
Soon, leafy cats, rabbits, and dragons brighten the landscape, and smiles appear on worn and tired faces. A young boy is even recruited as a helper/apprentice. The most magical thing is that even after the leaves have changed color and fallen, the warmth and goodwill remains.

The stunning illustrations are a perfect compliment to the heart-warming story.
Richard Cardenas
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read this one to my sister and cousin and they loved it. The illustrations are beautiful and amazing and I will need to get a copy to own.
Wanda
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: favorites, 2016, nookbooks
16 MAR 2016 - Beautiful! Do you enjoy childrens' picture books? Are there little ones in your life? If yes, this book is special and a worthwhile purchase. The topiaries created by the Night Gardener are outstanding.

This review continues to be written as I comment to friends:

Comment to Eve: (Eve writes that this sounds like something she would enjoy.) Oh, Eve, I think you would. The illustrations are stunning and there is a special element which comes to life as the story progresses which comb
...more
Manybooks
Truth be told, with Terry and Eric Fan’s The Night Gardener I have actually (and pretty rarely for me at that) both enjoyed the accompanying illustrations considerably more than the presented narrative and in fact have also found the Fan brothers printed words not really even remotely on par with their glowing and delightfully evocative illustrations. In other words, reading the featured text of The Night Gardener with its basic simplicity and indeed rather unimaginative and blah standard ending ...more
Laura Harrison
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one creative, unique, detailed, luminous, astonishingly gorgeous, incredible picture book. If anyone disputes that this is a golden era for children's picture books just hand 'em over this one. The Night Gardener manages to raise the already high bar of picture books to a whole new level. I can't wait to see what might be created by authors and illustrators trying to top this one. Magnificent!
Angela
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Not only does someone special bring his talents to the people of Grimloch lane, but the talent is passed on from one generation to the next in this exceptional picture book. The story may remind us of others (from Grandpa Green to Circus Mirandus or even Edward Scissorhands), but the visual presentation is original and of the highest quality.

Highly recommended as a quiet read-aloud.
Angie
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book for a family in need's Christmas gift for their 4 year old. I bought it just because of the illustrations alone. After reading the book it is just as wonderful as the pictures. I hope the child enjoys it as much as I did. I wish I was able to cut topiaries like the ones in the book... then again sometimes grand topiaries makes me think of the Shinning by Stephen King!
Debbie Ohi
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love the utterly *gorgeous* art in THE NIGHT GARDENER, a debut picture book by Eric Fan and Terry Fan (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers). Every time I read through it, I notice something new. Beautiful details (just noticed the lovely illustrations on the cover beneath the paper jacket!), stunning illustrations, magical atmosphere throughout. Highly recommended. ...more
Cheryl
Jun 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Words are distracting as they are so unnecessary... it would make a great wordless book or even graphic novel. Pictures and story (as told by them) are lovely, until the end, at which point the book becomes just another 'instant classic' covering a common theme with nothing new worth sharing.
(In *my* opinion. Readers less jaded than I will love it, and more power to them.)
Selina Kyle
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, childrens
Absolutely beautiful book.

The plot is simple but magical, as any good kids' book should be: in a small town, something begins to change overnight. First it's a single tree, shifted in the night to a marvelous topiary animal. Over time nearly all the trees in town are transformed by the night gardener, and one lucky child happens to catch him at it and receive an invitation to see how it's done.

But oh, the art. Both the authors are artists, and their styles have combined into one gorgeous super s
...more
Heidi-Marie
The story is sweet. The illustrations were brilliant! I loved them so much--best part of the book. Details of the story are in them that are not in the text.

2/22/17 Used in G preschool theme. Told them to really look at the pictures to see the details as well as part of the story. I helped point out certain parts (like the man with the ladder). They loved seeing what creatures he created with the trees. They totally got it! Woohoo!
Andréa
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a gorgeous book! I love the idea that small, individual actions can have a big impact on other people--even a whole community. The artwork is beautiful, and kids will enjoy poring over each spread and all the little details. It will probably inspire many kids to learn more about topiary, too!

Note: I received a hardcover copy of this book from the publisher.
Mississippi Library Commission
Y'all, The Night Gardeneris picture book heaven. Gorgeous, breathtaking, whimsical pictures: check. Sweet, lyrical, easy-to-understand text: check. Just the right touch of wonder, mystery, and childish longing: checkity-check. Perfect as a read-aloud, you'll love this one as much as your kids will.
Amy
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sweet-petites
A beautifully illustrated picture book about a mysterious stranger that brings a town together through his topiary creations!

The authors, brothers Eric and Terry Fan, are both artists and this is their first book. You can check out their other surrealistic artwork here:

https://society6.com/opifan64
https://society6.com/igo2cairo
...more
Danielle
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
One of those "ahhhhh" books. Ahhhhh. Just lovely.
Benjamin Uminsky
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-my-kids
Kids absolutely loved this one. Gorgeous illustrations. This will definitely make it into our nightly read rotation.
Abigail
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone Who Appreciates Beautiful Picture-Books
William wakes up one morning to discover that the residents of Grimloch Lane have been visited in the night by a mysterious topiary artist, who has shaped one of the trees in the Grimloch Orphanage's yard into the figure of an owl. Enraptured by this beautiful surprise, William (a resident of the orphanage) gazes in wonder all day, and well into the night. The guerrilla gardener strikes again that night, and a massive cat-shaped tree is discovered the next day. A friendly rabbit, a pretty parake ...more
Emma
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Stunning. A bit reminiscent of The Big Orange Splotch. Everything I hoped it would be.
--
Full review:
William doesn't know what to think when the tree outside his window is transformed into an owl topiary overnight. Soon after more wonderful topiaries begin appearing in the neighborhood.

Eager to find out the secrets behind these wondrous creations, William sneaks out after dark to discover the night gardener at work. Soon, William begins working with the night gardener to create more beautiful tre
...more
Elisabeth
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I know it sounds like I love every picture book that I read, but really, that's not true! I've been disappointed on numerous occasions. This time though? Not a chance. I loved The Night Gardener. The illustrations are magical and so is the book. William is an orphan who likes to draw. When a mysterious stranger arrives, the townspeople and William are forever changed by the beauty he creates with his magnificent topiaries. I especially enjoyed that the Night Gardener passed on his craft to Willi ...more
Agnė
3.5 out of 5
Heartwarming and beautifully illustrated. I LOVE the book's cover, as well as these illustrations:




Also, The Night Gardener reminded me of Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, the book which I love dearly :)
...more
Julie
Beautifully illustrated and wondrous, with loads of imagination and perfect glimpses of small-town life; I particularly loved the street scenes after dark when William spots and follows the night gardener. The moon, the street lamps, the cozy household windows, and the Chinese lanterns all seemed to glow, but the evening darkness was still magical and mysterious. Hard to believe that this is the first book from artists/writers/brothers Terry and Eric Fan. Will look forward to their work to come!
Daphne
Lush, gorgeous illustrations tell a magical story about art and community. Beautifully detailed illustrations make this book a keeper. Just lovely! I also like that the authors are artists and brothers who worked together to create this book. The book cover literally lists the author as "The Fan Brothers" - how cool is that? Plus, I love this author bio bit about brother Eric: "He has a passion for vintage bikes, clockwork contraptions, and impossible dreams." Awesome!
Aliza Werner
A stunningly illustrated book. Do not race past the first pages. They set the tone and the contrast for the progress of the book. The illustrations had a vintage, cozy feel to me. The story was simple, yet full of heart. This is also a smart commentary on public art and investment of time and talents of residents into their communities to bring people together.
Elena
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

Absolutely gorgeous illustrations, and a simple but lovely story. This was me at the end:

...more
Laura
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
The illustrations reminded of Maurice Sendak while reading this; think "Where The Wild Things Are. If you read it too fast, you might miss out on the stories depth that is depicted in the detailed artwork as you progress through the pages.
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