Getting Used to the Dark: 26 Night Poems

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9780789424686: Getting Used to the Dark: 26 Night Poems
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Evocative, black-and-white illustrations complement a vivid collection of poems about the mysteries, wonders, and surprises of the night.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 2-5?What happens after dark? Where can dreams take us? These expansive, searching questions are addressed in a rather simplistic form in Swanson's first book of poetry. Many questions and wanderings are posed; few answers are offered, but perhaps the poems are structured to allow readers to ponder such dream weavings. There are some intriguing turns of phrase. The selections are quite down to earth, and are, for the most part, understandable to a young audience. The sounds of crickets on a summer evening or the peaceful glisten of a shiny creek are heralded in common terms. The essence of nature is uncovered in the stories the garden has to tell and in the tiny seeds that are afraid of the dark. The poems seem to follow a stream-of-consciousness pattern, winding about the dreams, secrets, and shadows as they explore what night and darkness may mean to individual readers. The focus of this collection may not excite children. However, it may inspire some thoughts on how to look at the nameless, faceless nothingness we call night. It is a quiet volume, perhaps best used to introduce the form and shape of poetry to youngsters and to show how everyday words and events can be turned into poetic images. Shadowy, dreamlike pencil illustrations depicting fleeting glimpses from dreams fit the book well. It is sometimes difficult to visualize the image in the pictures, although that may be appropriate since dreams themselves often contain somewhat vague images.?Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Swanson debuts with a brief but consistently high-quality gathering of unrhymed observations and meditations about sleep, dreams, night, nature, family, and other topics. The language is simple but sonorous (``Where is it going, the train on the bridge?/And the wail of the whistle?'') and displays a fondness for unexpected metaphor--night is a running girl, for example- -plus an ability to create whole stories in a few lines. ``Karla's Worries'' keep her awake, while another child's dark mood changes as he helps his grandmother make french toast (``Nick and the Stale Bread''); ``Joanie Ice-skating After Dark'' finds a world of adventure, as does ``Ben Under The Blanket.'' Catalanotto's shadowy, soft-edged pictures are all details of a wreath-shaped pencil dreamscape reproduced at the end. A promising collection, evocatively illustrated. (Poetry. 8-14) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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