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Imagine a Day Hardcover – February 1, 2005

35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Imagine a...
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Later Printing edition (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689852193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689852190
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah L. Thomson is the author of Stars and Stripes: The Story of the American Flag, a Nebraska Golden Sower Award finalist; all the Wildlife Conservation Society I Can Read Books, including Amazing Tigers!, winner of an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award; and What Lincoln Said, written with "admirable simplicity" (ALA Booklist). Sarah lives in Portland, Maine.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cady Hayden on November 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the greatest books I've read and reviewed this year!

In its poetic simplistic sense, each verse brings new meaning and clear thought to a basic 3-4 word line. Along with the illustrations, done in an almost salvadore dali method, the pictures are created amongst themselves. A tall bridge slowly becomes people standing on each other helping build the bridge. A man studying a map becomes children diving off into a part of the map and flying over beautiful land. My descritions don't do justice to the beautiful artwork expressed inside these pages. Superb artwork by Rob Gonsalves!

Taken from the book on one of my favorite pages...

imagine a day.....

when roots drink up rivers,

twigs tangle in clouds,

and a tree is a ladder

between earth and air.

This is a must read for children and will also be enjoyed by adults.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Ferguson VINE VOICE on May 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Brightly colored, surreal illustrations by Rob Gonsalves are lovely and interesting for adults and children and definately evoke emotions. Small children may find the perspectives a bit edgy.

The text will definatly evoke more for adults than children but does encourage readers of all ages to use their imaginations. This book may be dificult for beginning readers to decipher on their own but would be very nice as a read-together book.

This is a companion book to Imagine a Night by the same author and illustrator.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By writingadream on January 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The absolutely tremendous illustrations make this book interesting to all ages...especially adults. We keep it on the coffee table and company of all ages pick it up to get swept away by the imaginative book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Book Collector on April 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you liked 'Imagine a Night,' you'll like 'Imagine a Day.' I like them both. The artwork is well displayed (although I hate when art is dissected into a two-page layout and wish the 'powers that be' would just make the book BIGGER to accomodate a one artwork per page layout . . . but that's my personal peeve and most readers don't seem to care or notice.)

Gentle and wonderful introduction to surreal art. Would recommend it for children or adults. It makes one wish for one of those oversize comprehensive and complete art books solely on Rob Gonsalves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Granfors on September 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Imagine a Day" with text by Sarah L. Thomson and paintings by Rob Gonsalves is a perfect partnership. Intricate paintings of everyday scenes made mystical are matched with Thomson's simple and beautiful prose.

Each written page begins with "Imagine a day" followed by actions that could be taken to free the imagination, strengthen the spirit, or change the world.

If I were still teaching, I would share this book as an opening to the semester with all my classes, from AP Literature (cynics) to the squirrely too cool for school freshmen. They would love it and borrow the title throughout the year.

Since I am now retired from teaching, I am contacting my friends and relatives and the Amazon audience: buy this book whether you have little ones or not. Beauty can be held in your hand and will live in your heart.

The final pages are a tribute to the joy of books. This book is a joy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ana Lado "PH.D." on March 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It is difficult to find sparse text picture books that work well for school-aged ELLs. This is one of those books. I like teaching the complex sentence pattern that is repeated throughout. Once students have learned it through copying, analyzing, substituting, and expanding it, they easily are launched to writing their own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book! This is my kind of art: creative and colorful, realistic and impossible. I was expecting a little more from the writings inspired from the pictures, but because they are so short, they are the perfect length for a 2 and 3 year old. I also have imagine a night, and I read them to my kids at bedtime.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Duker on September 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book consists of a wonderful collection of beautiful and creative drawings by Robert Gonslaves interspersed with poetic musings by Sarah Thompson. While most books listing an author and illustrator are mainly text, in this case the writing is superfluous at best, and annoying at worst. The sense of wonder inspired by the pictures needs no commentary, especially of the vacuous and meaningless stock thoughts written here. Don't get me wrong, the book is well worth the purchase price and can be looked at and enjoyed time and time again. Just next time, Gonslaves should strike out on his own with the art and perhaps some technical explanations of how he did what he did.
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