Night Garden: Poems From The World Of Dreams


...dreams grow wild

Like dandelion weeds,

feathery heads alive with seeds —

and those fine seeds,

about to sprout,

race the day

to find their place

in a welcome ...

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...dreams grow wild

Like dandelion weeds,

feathery heads alive with seeds —

and those fine seeds,

about to sprout,

race the day

to find their place

in a welcome mind...

And the dreams grow in an endless variety, same familiar things, some strange and beautiful, some on the darker side.

In this collection, Janet S. Wong, a widely known poet, records some of the many dreams she or her friends have had. She even watches her old dog while he twitches and growls and dreams in his sleep and finally yelps awake.

Illustrated by Julie Paschkis with paintings that reflect the glowing colors that can fill our dreams, these nighttime vicions create a special garden, tempting to explore and evocative of dreams of our very own.

A collection of poems describing a variety of dreams, some familiar, some strange, some beautiful, and some on the darker side.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this absorbing volume, Wong (A Suitcase of Seaweed and Other Poems) and Paschkis (Play All Day) examine the familiar yet surprising qualities of dreams. The poems recall a weightless feeling of flying, an anxious sense of being late or an unexpected visit from a dead or living acquaintance ("I had forgotten you, friend./ Is that why you came/ into my dream?"). "Gently Down the Stream" alludes to the phrase "life is but a dream" and describes swimming in clear water; the accompanying illustration pictures a sinuous orange-and-turquoise fish with a peaceful human face. Wong seldom abides scary dreams, but she does include "a news-at-seven true nightmare," which Paschkis supplements with beastly imagery of snakes and howling sleepers. Paschkis's gouaches at times suggest an illuminated manuscript, elements from medieval tapestries or elaborate Arts and Crafts-era wallpaper. The artist responds to each poem with a multicolor image framed within a monochromatic, repetitive motif. She creates a host of weird creatures, from a hunched man in a long-nosed white mask to a turnip-headed being with pea-pod arms; to indicate the mysterious workings of the imagination, she shows strange flowers sprouting from a restful figure. Paschkis's swirling imagery and Wong's quiet yet haunting words skillfully simulate the reveries they recount. Ages 7-10. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Dreams are the universal unconscious mind taking root and blossoming at night when the masks we wear disguise our real selves. Compare your dreams with those of Janet Wong. Ever dreamed of food? Try "Turnip Cake" and you'll find your mouth watering over..."this dim sum of my dreams, / crisp to the teeth/ and soft to the tongue, / and I wake up/ hungry." In "Talking in Her Sleep" my sister says, "Tomato/ uh huh/ and she starts to laugh/ like something's snapped in her brain/" She settles down and you're left "red in the face/ like a tomato." Each poem is surrounded by gouache paintings with borders of wispy, surreal and mixed up images that resemble our dreams. Wong and Paschkis perform a dazzling dream duet. 2000, McElderry, Ages 8 to 12, $16.00. Reviewer: Jan Lieberman
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-In the title poem, Wong compares the bed in which dreams happen with the tangled roots and blooms of a garden bed. The 14 poems that follow are about the people who appear in dreams, eating, swimming, flying, running, and falling. The poems use sound qualities-repetition, alliteration, and occasional rhyme-to capture each dream. Even poems about nightmares and anxieties are couched in gentle language that evokes wonder and thoughtfulness rather than fear. Paschkis's paintings highlight the gardening metaphor. The selections are set against background frames of earth-toned colors, filled with animals, humans, and plants reminiscent of the organic creatures of Hieronymus Bosch. The frames are symmetrically balanced to enclose a small painting on the left-hand page and a similarly shaped space for the poem on the right. Pictures of children of many cultural backgrounds add to the universal quality of the book, as does the last poem, "There Is a Place," which suggests that a storyteller lies inside each of us and comes out as we sleep. Children will enjoy capturing their own dreams and giving them shape and meaning after they have experienced these poems. This is a particularly fine collection for libraries in which young writers and painters are encouraged.-Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416968160
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 11/27/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.49 (w) x 11.09 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet S. Wong is the author of more than a dozen picture books and poetry collections. Her work includes Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book, and Knock on Wood: Poems About Superstitions, both illustrated by Julie Paschkis, as well as Grump, a Charlotte Zolotow Award Highly Commended Book, illustrated by John Wallace. Janet lives with her family in Medina, Washington.

Julie Paschkis is the illustrator of several award-winning books, including Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams by Janet S. Wong, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; Happy Adoption Day! by John McCutcheon; and Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile by Won-Ldy Paye and Margaret H. Lippert. She lives in Seattle Washington. Visit Julie's Web site at

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Table of Contents


Night Garden

Whose Face Is This?

The Ones They Loved the Most

Old Friend

Who Knows How Long

Gently Down the Stream


Talking in Her Sleep


Dog Dreams


Even in My Sleep

Turnip Cake

The Best Dreams

There Is a Place

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