April 25, 2018

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Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce | SLJ Review

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redstarPEARCE, Philippa. Tom’s Midnight Garden. adapted by Edith. tr. from French by Liz Cross. illus. by Edith. 320p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Jan. 2018. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9780062696588.

Gr 4-7 –When Tom is sent to his aunt Gwen and uncle Alan’s to be quarantined while his brother has the measles, he begrudgingly accepts his fate. But everything changes the night he investigates the mysterious grandfather clock, which has just chimed 13 times. Opening the back door, he discovers a magnificent garden, where he returns each night to enjoy its wonders and the friendship of a girl named Hatty. This gorgeously rendered adaptation of a classic work of children’s literature adeptly brings to life Pearce’s descriptive language, using a minimum of carefully chosen text. Each character is flawlessly captured—Tom, his serious uncle, his goodhearted aunt, and Hatty, who transforms from a vulnerable girl to a confident young woman. The use of colors (primarily gray, yellow, and green) is ideal, with muted shades for interior and nighttime settings and brighter hues outdoors. The shading is particularly impressive. VERDICT This excellent graphic novel adaptation will introduce the tale to a new generation of readers. A must-purchase.–Gaye Hinchliff, King County Library System, WA

This review was published in the School Library Journal March 2018 issue.

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