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The Night Gardener Hardcover – 16 Feb 2016
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"A treat, with artwork worth lingering over."--Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
"It is a pleasing collaboration with art bound to both haunt and delight."--Booklist
"An elegant picture book that celebrates creativity and community."--School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
An uplifting testament to the effect that a caring adult can have on a lonely child Visual pleasure abounds. --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW"
"The Night Gardener" is visual storytelling at its best. --Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW"
The Night Gardener is visual storytelling at its best. --Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW"
"An uplifting testament to the effect that a caring adult can have on a lonely child...Visual pleasure abounds."--Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
"The Night Gardener is visual storytelling at its best."--Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW
"The message about the transformative power of art is a powerful one, and the intriguing premise and graceful art are definitely captivating. Reminiscent of Chris Van Allsburg's imaginative works as well as Lane Smith's Grandpa Green."--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
About the Author
Terry Fan received his formal art training at Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Canada. His work is a blend of traditional and contemporary techniques, using ink or graphite mixed with digital. He spends his days (and nights) creating magical paintings, portraits, and prints. The Night Gardener is his first book. Born in Illinois, he now lives in Toronto. Visit him online at Krop.com/TerryFfan and Society6.com/igo2cairo and on Facebook (Terry Fan Illustration).
Top Customer Reviews
The art style is hand drawn in a detailed sketchy style with bright pops of colour. The topiaries are really brought to life by the beautiful art.
I think children aged 3-6 would enjoy this book, particularly children who can relate to the story.
I would happily pay around £10 for this book as a beautiful gift for a child.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
The first few pages continue that somber feeling and we meet William who is sad. He is living in an orphanage and it turns out my 7-year-old had never heard of an orphanage. One of my favorite illustrations in this book (and believe me it is hard to choose) shows William looking out of his window staring at the owl topiary that the Night Gardner sculpted in front of the orphanage. In the corner of the windowsill is a small picture of a man and woman. An amazingly poignant picture. My daughter and I speculated about what might have happened to William's parents. It made the somber mood at the beginning of the story so understandable.
As the book progresses each day the neighborhood awakens to a new topiary. The pictures lighten; less sepia is used and more color is evident. The people start interacting more and look happier and more connected. William follows the Night Gardener one night and helps him make a whole zoo of animal topiaries in the park. The Night Gardener leaves before morning while William sleeps and in his place is a gift of headgeclippers for William. Seriously I wanted to cry.
The seasons change and the trees loose their leaves but the feelings the Night Gardener created remain. It reminds me of that quote from Maya Angelou — "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." It is again summer at the end of the book but this picture is so different from what the illustrator showed us at the beginning of the book. We spent some time comparing and contrasting these pictures and and what techniques the artist used to create the mood at the beginning and end of the book. Finally, we see William using his clippers on a small hedge.
This is a great, great book that is beautiful, rich, poignant, deep, interesting, and ultimately happy. Joy coming again after great sadness. We loved this book. I have seriously blown our budget for books recently so we have been checking more books out of the library. My daughter asked if we could buy this book. Done!
My boys finish sentences in the book before I do. They arch their necks from their beds trying to see the beautiful artwork throughout each page. I ask them to name the animals depicted and they love to participate. I highly recommend this book for toddlers and adults alike!!