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Imagine A Day    by Sarah L. Thomson & Rob Gonsalves order for
Imagine A Day
by Sarah L. Thomson
Order:  USA  Can
Atheneum, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The text and images in this magnificent oversize picture book interweave to make magic ... the magic of a child's vivid imagination. Rob Gonsalves' illustrations are reminiscent of M. C. Escher's work, while Sarah L. Thomson conjures feasts for the imagination in the words that accompany them. The text makes you look harder at the images, which in turn reinforce the messages in the words.

It begins, 'Imagine a day ... when you can dive down through branches or swim up to the sun.' The picture shows kids leaping out of a rowboat and swimming/climbing through a tree's reflection in the water. All the illustrations are like that. There's a bridge built out of young acrobats' 'grace and daring', a mansion that merges into a treehouse 'rocking gently in the autumn wind', a moat made of glass to welcome strangers, and much more. I love 'imagine a day ... when the peace of a forest and the strength of a mountain become a cathedral for your heart.'

The last 'imagine' is very special, 'a day ...when a book swings open on silent hinges, and a place you've never seen before welcomes you home. / Imagine ... today' (the illustration here shows a library whose books open up into all kinds of worlds). I haven't been so impressed by a picture book in a long time. Imagine A Day is truly exceptional. Linger over it with little ones, and enjoy their discoveries as you recapture the magic of your own childhood imagination.

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