The Night Gardener

Grimloch Lane is dull and drab, its inhabitants completely occupied by their daily routine. That is, until one day, when a local tree is transformed into the shape of a marvellous owl, as if by magic… William, a young orphan, cannot help but spend the whole day staring at the leafy sculpture in wonder. In the days that follow, more and more fantastic animal topiaries appear overnight, and the excitement soon spreads throughout the community. As for William, a chance encounter with the mysterious night gardener opens up a whole new world of possibility…

The Night Gardener is an impressive début from brothers Terry and Eric Fan. The picturebook operates upon an intimate relationship between word and image, with each expanding upon the other in subtle but potent ways. The text is sparse but endearing, cleverly using punctuation to guide the reader between pause and gentle propulsion. The illustrations are exquisite, cleverly using space, line, shade and colour to create altering moods, traversing the dull and the vibrant, the mundane and the magical, the doleful and the hopeful. The physical book itself is also a beauty, offering its own little surprises under the dust jacket and within the endpapers. The colours and designs reflect the interior form and content while also adding to the overall vintage feel.

A masterfully crafted picturebook, and an elegant meditation on wonder, change, and the transformative power of art. The Night Gardener deserves to be a classic!

Book Cover - The Night Gardener
Author/Illustrator
Reviewer
Publication Date
February 2017
Format
Hardback
Pages
48
ISBN
9781847809391