Imagine A Night and Imagine A Day are based on paintings by artist Rob Gonsalves and described as having “the intrigue of an Escher drawing and the richness of a Chris Van Allsburg painting.” They are certainly incredible.
These illustrations are the kind that grab your attention and twist your mind. You’ll wonder what you are looking at, then when you look long enough, and closely enough, you’ll realise that it’s not at all what you thought.
Optical illusions never seem to grow old, and that is a great part of the appeal in these books which were first published more than ten years ago. There are sixteen pictures to explore in Imagine A Night, and seventeen in Imagine A Day, which won a Canada Council for the Arts Governor General’s Literary Award. The text for both, written by Sarah L. Thomson, is sparing and descriptive in a way that helps you understand what you are seeing, while also inspiring you to imagine more.
I reckon anyone who opens Imagine A Night and Imagine A Day will want to go back to them again, and try and work out how the magic is created. If you want to explore a little further afield, you can learn more about Rob Gonsalves’ magical realism style and how he develops his pictures in this short video.
Title: Imagine A Night / Imagine A Day
Author: Sarah L. Thomson
Illustrator: Rob Gonsalves
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 2009
Format: Hardcover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9780689852183 / 9780689852190
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book