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Imagine a Night
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Imagine a Night

(Imagine a...)

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  554 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
Imagine a night when you can ride your bike right up the stairs to your bed. Imagine a night when your toy train rumbles on its tracks out of your room and roars back in, full sized, ready for you to hop on for a nighttime adventure. Imagine a night when a farmer plays a lullaby on his fiddle, and his field of sunflowers begins to dip and sway to the rhythm. Imagine a nigh ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Mary Catelli
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
A picture book.

The text, I'm afraid, is flat-footed and too closely connected to the paintings.

However, the paintings themselves are marvels of tromp l'oeil transitions between one thing and the next. Like pale reflections of clouds -- or women rising from a lake. . . a couple seemed uninspired to me, but most work well.
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, picture
As far as I gather from the end note, these "illustrations" are actually a selection of independent paintings, later put together with text. There are themes -- night, imagination, mystery -- but no story. Each image really stands on its own. Many of Gonsalves' paintings are lovely, especially the ones of the natural world, trees, sky, light and dark. His interior spaces and humans didn't always work quite as well for me. The text is pleasantly poetic but not memorable. The only lines that reall ...more
Mary Crabtree
Jan 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
The illustrations are gorgeous in this book and as I read it I couldn't help but be reminded of one of my
favorite children's picture books, The Story of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Ahlsburg. Like Harris Burdick, Imagine a Night is a great story starting tool for the classroom setting or for writers looking for an inspiration thread. I enjoyed the intriguing but spare text and again the pictures are a wonderful display of nature and fantasy combined.
Jun 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Thomson adds text to match Gonsalves' dreamy, surrealist paintings, in which snowy fields turn into beds, quilts turn into fields, and arched windows turn into hooded figures. A lovely, if sometimes spooky, fantasy book for children of all ages, which makes a good introduction to the link between art and imagination."

CIP: "Presents a night when imagination takes over and gravity does not work quite as expected."

SLJ: "Gr 4 Up-Magical realism permeates Gonsalves's large acrylic paintings, and th
Jack Kirby and the X-man
The comments I made about Imagine a Day also apply to this book - fantastic pictures with pretty ordinary text.

I preferred the light-hearted and bright Imagine a Day to the darker, spookier Imagine a Night. I also noticed that Rob Gonsalves repeated illustrative effects much more in this book - the snow->white sheets effect, the monks->windows effect, the curtains shaping our view of the outside world effect were all repeated in this book. I was disappointed about this repetition and I fou
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
A strong 4 1/2 stars!
This is a beautiful book; a beautiful and lyrical invitation to let your imagination (and dreams) run free. (See my review of “Imagine a Day.”) This is the first collaboration by Sarah Thomson and Rob Gonsalves, and it’s more of a collection of poems that loosely connect Gonsalves’ paintings. However, it’s magical, beautiful, and surreal.
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Jul 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Love the artwork and the author's note in the back sharing the inspiration for the book and illustrations.

Imagine a night when everyday objects and moments become extraordinary...
Nov 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Excellent illustrations. We enjoyed "Imagine a Day" just a bit more, but both are great! A few of my kids wanted to know if there were more books like them!
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theme
Again, beautiful illustrations! The kids asked me to read this after we read Imagine a Day. They love, love, love the pictures. Fun read-aloud!
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
stellar illistration
Rebecca Light
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
At first I really loved this book but when it repeated itself a few times, it lost me. And then I realized the illustrations reminded me too much of those cheesy double image paintings I see on Venice boardwalk, the one where you're like, "Is it a face or is it a couch? It's both! So clever!" I know it's a whole legit genre of painting; I just happen to hate it.
Hannah Lady
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: el-230
Imagine a night is a great book about dreams or perception, which ever one you see it as. This book along with great illustrations has underlying messages. I really enjoyed this book because there are multiple ways you can imagine this book and what the story means.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The paintings that comprise the illustration portion of this book are wonderful. My daughter was so enthralled picking out the 'hidden' aspects of each one. The book was really nice overall and a perfect dreamy bedtime story.
Cassandra O'Leary
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous and poetic kids' book with beautiful illustrations full of detail and optical illusions. What happens when reality and dreams collide in the night? My boys loved this one.
Sarajo Mance
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: el230
This book is definitely interesting and imaginative. I love that the illustrator added optical illusions. This would be the perfect opportunity to raise children's imagination and creativity to make a beautiful project.
M. N.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: early-readers
Amazing pictures to ponder.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this as for an online course; the assignment including a picture book to use as close reading.
Sarah Sammis
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
After my kids and I read Imagine a Place by Sarah L. Thomson and Rob Gonsalves. Since then we've been wanting to read their other collaborations. Gonsalves is a Canadian artist specializing in surrealistic paintings. Sarah L. Thomson writes short poems to describe his paintings and each book is centered on a theme.

Imagine a Night is themed around nighttime: sleep, snow, winter, candle light and similar. There are blankets of snow that become beds. Moon lit shapes become people (a woman walking f
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
By now most of you know I need beautiful illustrations in my kid’s books, the story could be the best thing I’ve ever read but if the illustrations are bad then it makes me want more. Imagine a Night is one of those books where I honestly didn’t even need the prose because the pictures themselves did a good portion of the talking.

However don’t let that fool you into thinking the words don’t matter, because they worked their own sort of magic. They get the audience to start thinking about the wor
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book was fascinating. The illustrations were amazing. At the end of the book, it said the story was inspired by different paintings, and it showed a picture of each painting.
The book kind of plays with some modern day stories along with these old paintings... at least I felt like I was picking up on that; I don't know if the author did that on purpose or not. For example, one of the pictures shows a girl jumping on her bed and the picture fades her bed into an arial view of a country side.
Anna Louise
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sixteen incredible acrylic paintings were the inspiration for the text that invites readers to dream and fantasize of what could be. "Imagine a night...when you might find/ that gravity/ does not work/ quite as you expected." Four children on bicycles ride up a staircase and into darkness. "Imagine a night...when you cannot sleep,/ and so you jump/ high enough to soar/ over a quilt of fields and forests." Children begin bouncing on quilt-covered beds and soon find they are floating above a patch ...more
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a wondrous children’s book that’s almost too good for children. Radiant with luminous beauty and coupled with modest prose, each picture in this gorgeous book reveals itself in a brilliant juxtaposition of reality and fantasy. Magical realism pervades every illustration as something actual shades into equally actual but also impossible. Like an Escher illustration where random shapes gradually turn into birds and fishes, Imagine a Night is filled with such eye-catching paradoxes and that ...more
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
My daughters and I read Imagine a Day first. I would describe to them what was going on in all the pictures because they didn't really understand at first the concept (they are 3 & 6). By the time we got halfway through this book, my older daughter was pointing out what was happening with the imagination of the people in the book. We checked these out from the library as "something different" and I'm glad we did.
I liked Imagine a Day, but I loved this. Where do I start?! The surreal, Escher-like beauty of the paintings; the quiet enchantment of magic, illusion and light; the potential of the ordinary to become the extraordinary. As a writer, I find myself enriched and inspired by the stories suggested by Gonsalves's paintings, my favourites being 'A Change of Scenery' and 'In the Aurora'. Sublime.
Debbie Graham
Nov 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Similar to Mysteries of Harris Burdick - would give 3 1/2 stars if 1/2 were possible. The pictures are beautiful and intriguing. However the result is a bit repetitive "Imagine a night"--no, imagine 16 of them. Great book to use and inspire but reading cover to cover out loud would lose many children...give to the young artist to curl up with by him/herself...
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Imagine a Night make everything seem possible. Every page seems unpredictable and creates a curiosity drive while reading it. The illustrations are stunning and rich that represent the transition between sleep and wakefulness. This book encourages imagination to it furthest boundaries and makes everything seem possible.
Ruth Ann
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Starting with the cover and remaining strong throughout, the art work in this book is stunning. To it add very l rich language and a highly descriptive text and you will find you are holding the perfect picture book to spark your imagination. Don't miss the previous work by the same author/illustrator, entitiled "Imagine a Day".
Shannon Ng
Jul 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
The paintings draw you in and encourage you to imagine beyond what you see everyday. You will find yourself finding patterns and images in unlikely places after experiencing this beautiful picture book. I especially appreciate the paintings that change from a scenic view to individuals walking or flying and the too quiet lake that becomes a city skyline. Highly recommended for all readers.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
The paintings draw you in and encourage you to imagine beyond what you see everyday. You will find yourself finding patterns and images in unlikely places after experiencing this beautiful picture book. I especially appreciate the paintings that change from a scenic view to individuals walking or flying and the too quiet lake that becomes a city skyline. Highly recommended for all readers.
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone!!...Especially, Art lovers.
Recommended to Briana by: Kim Nix
This is definitely a five star book, but I did not love it enough to give it that rating. This book is beautifully illustrated and the silky words are powerful enough to evoke the senses. Check it out!
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