The Night Gardener

p. xi  “Although fairy tales are still arguably the most powerfully formative tales of childhood and permeate mass media for children and adults, it is not unusual to find them deemed of marginal cultural importance and dismissed as unworthy of critical attention.

Everyone has returned to their respective houses after the holiday festivities at our home. I too am have returning- returning to my beloved routine of pondering things – conversations, time, and books.

Twitter does indeed provide communication, but for me it is a distraction of great value for its variety of distraction.  Thus, after my pondering, I turn to check the tweets where, lo and behold! is one leading to another posted by SLJ – a childhood game of pass-it-down-the-alley – where I am asked my opinion on this year’s Newbery Award title. Truly, this does deserve some thought. So, I think. Here is my output:

The Night Gardner is my first choice. It is a tale told extremely well, appealing to both girls and boys. Reminiscent of the fairy tale with its original intention, this novel seems effortless in its connection to those primitive fears of the “dark” or unknown. It too can change and morph in meaning relative to the years that go by, since it is so rooted in basic human psychology. This is a small gem of a book – combine this with the mellifluous and consummate writing style and exquisite book design – it deserves serious consideration.

I do love this story for the tale itself – so unpretentious yet so rich in writing, vocabulary, and appeal to all readers. I sincerely hope that this one is not deemed “marginal” by the Newbery committee, but more importantly, not by you, dear reader.  Choose to read it and reconnect with your fairy-tale self.

Auxier, Jonathan. The Night Gardener: A Scary Story. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2014. Print.
Tatar, Maria. The Classic Fairy Tales: Texts, Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999. Print.


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