Quill and Quire

REVIEWS

« Back to
Book Reviews

Imagine a Night

by Sarah L. Thomson, Rob Gonsalves, illus.

In a stunning debut picture book called Imagine a Night, Ontario artist Rob Gonsalves opens our eyes to his creative and highly original visions of the night. Rendered in acrylic, these exquisite paintings capture night scenes that are hauntingly magical. A farmer plays a violin to a field of sunflowers with faces. A boy cuts a drape into the shape of a skyscraper-filled skyline. A snow-laden yard becomes a field of white-sheeted beds. The reflection of clouds in a lake becomes moonlit spirits crossing the water. These surrealist-influenced paintings are carefully orchestrated by Gonsalves to fuel the fire of imagination.

The accompanying text by New York writer Sarah L. Thomson reads like a soft whisper and is perfect for bedtime reading. Each double-page spread begins with the line “imagine a night” and Thomson completes the phrase using the second person – “imagine a night when a snowfall tucks you in and the evening star kisses you asleep.” The text has been carefully crafted to draw the reader inside the illustrator’s magical visions.

Childhood is a time when imagination runs wild and free, and for that reason, children of all ages will love this book. Even children who consider themselves too old for picture books will want this one. The paintings can be revisited time and again, and each time, readers will see something new. Not only for bedtime, this book can be used by teachers to initiate discussions about using imagination in creative writing and art. Plus, art lovers will be utterly captivated with the talent and innovation of the artist.