Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams

New York Times “10 Best Illustrated Book[s] of 2000”

Publisher’s Weekly Star

School Library Journal Star

Night Garden came into being at a time when I had several ideas for new poetry collections, but no clear favorite topic for a next book. What I wanted, more than anything else, was to do a collection of poems inspired by paintings. I asked an author/illustrator friend, Laura Kvasnosky (of the marvelous Zelda and Ivy books) if she knew of any Seattle-area artists with an extensive collection of “ready to go” art, and she showed me the work of Julie Paschkis. I loved Julie’s paintings immediately. The fanciful dreamlike quality of her images seemed perfect for a collection of dream poems, one of the ideas floating around in the back of my mind.

Julie invited me to her studio, where I looked at dozens of paintings that would be perfect for poems. Thankfully, Julie was interested, and I proceeded to write some poems. Julie was my one-person critique group for the next several months, listening to my various drafts of poems and making suggestions as we went along. But instead of letting me use her “old” paintings, she decided to paint practically a whole new set of images to go with the poems! The result, I think, is art that adds meaning to the poems, art that reflects Julie’s dreams as much as the poems reflect mine, art inspiring readers and viewers to dig deep in their own night gardens, too.

Illustrated by Julie Paschkis
Published by Simon & Schuster (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
Out of Print – but ask for it at your local library!