Imagine a Day Hardcover – Feb 1 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6–Gonsalves awakens young readers from the twilight fantasy of Imagine a Night (S & S, 2003) and invites them to visit his evocative dreamscapes in broad daylight. The "wow" factor in every image is high, though some of the acrylic paintings pack more of a conceptual punch than others. The illustration that accompanies "imagine a day…/…when your house enfolds you/like a nest,/rocking gently/in the autumn wind" is definitely pretty neat. But "imagine a day…/…when you forget how to fall" is more deeply powerful, insightful, and visually demanding. The dust jacket copy indicates that Gonsalves's influences include such surrealist masters as Varo and Magritte, but picture-book aficionados–children included–are likely to associate these sophisticated, sensitive acrylics with other kid-friendly art by the likes of Anthony Browne and Chris Van Allsburg. Every image, from first to last, gives viewers plenty to ponder in their quieter moments, and older readers with artistic sensibilities will be as inspired as their younger siblings. Like Gonsalves's art, this riveting, memorable book works on many levels.–Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC
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Gr. 3-6. In a companion to Imagine a Night (2003), Gonsalves offers a new series of remarkable paintings that fool the eye in transparent yet intriguing ways. Each double-page spread presents a large picture and Thomson's brief text, such as "imagine a day . . . when you can dive down through branches or swim up to the sun." In this case, the acrylic painting depicts a scene in which a large tree is clearly reflected in the calm waters of a river or a lake. Three children climb out of the boat and along the reflection of the tree branches, toward the shore. In another painting, children walk along a picket fence, which almost imperceptibly turns into a city skyline that features the Chrysler Building. The text, though often lyrical, adds less to the book than the detailed pictures, which will stimulate wonder and imagination. An intriguing introduction to the surreal in art, this large-format book will fascinate children and adults with its realistic depiction of logical impossibilities. Carolyn Phelan
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