Getting Used to the Dark: 26 Night Poems

Getting Used to the Dark: 26 Night Poems

by Susan Marie, Dorling Kindersley Publishing Staff, Peter Catalanotto, Susan M. Swanson
     
 
The mysteries, surprises, and delights of the night are here celebrated in evocative style and variety. The art, like dreams themselves, is a kaleidoscope of evanescent images, seen wholly only at the final spread, like the old, old moon shining in our minds.

Overview

The mysteries, surprises, and delights of the night are here celebrated in evocative style and variety. The art, like dreams themselves, is a kaleidoscope of evanescent images, seen wholly only at the final spread, like the old, old moon shining in our minds.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sheree van Vreede
Twenty-six poems are accompanied by pencil illustrations that create shadows against the light of the lyrics. The entire book has a feeling of the night and all the things seen there. The stanzas reflect the reality of our dreams, and the fears we sometimes have. Combining deep metaphors with everyday kid concerns makes this a great addition to any collection, as seen in the following quote: "Can't miss the bus again. / Can't sleep. / The scattered bits of light say, / Wait for the sun."
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5What happens after dark? Where can dreams take us? These expansive, searching questions are addressed in a rather simplistic form in Swanson's first book of poetry. Many questions and wanderings are posed; few answers are offered, but perhaps the poems are structured to allow readers to ponder such dream weavings. There are some intriguing turns of phrase. The selections are quite down to earth, and are, for the most part, understandable to a young audience. The sounds of crickets on a summer evening or the peaceful glisten of a shiny creek are heralded in common terms. The essence of nature is uncovered in the stories the garden has to tell and in the tiny seeds that are afraid of the dark. The poems seem to follow a stream-of-consciousness pattern, winding about the dreams, secrets, and shadows as they explore what night and darkness may mean to individual readers. The focus of this collection may not excite children. However, it may inspire some thoughts on how to look at the nameless, faceless nothingness we call night. It is a quiet volume, perhaps best used to introduce the form and shape of poetry to youngsters and to show how everyday words and events can be turned into poetic images. Shadowy, dreamlike pencil illustrations depicting fleeting glimpses from dreams fit the book well. It is sometimes difficult to visualize the image in the pictures, although that may be appropriate since dreams themselves often contain somewhat vague images.Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
Swanson debuts with a brief but consistently high-quality gathering of unrhymed observations and meditations about sleep, dreams, night, nature, family, and other topics. The language is simple but sonorous ("Where is it going, the train on the bridge?/And the wail of the whistle?") and displays a fondness for unexpected metaphor—night is a running girl, for example—plus an ability to create whole stories in a few lines. "Karla's Worries" keep her awake, while another child's dark mood changes as he helps his grandmother make french toast ("Nick and the Stale Bread"); "Joanie Ice-skating After Dark" finds a world of adventure, as does "Ben Under The Blanket." Catalanotto's shadowy, soft-edged pictures are all details of a wreath-shaped pencil dreamscape reproduced at the end. A promising collection, evocatively illustrated.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780789424686
Publisher:
DK Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
09/15/1997
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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