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[Poetry Friday] Isol’s Nocturne and O’Shaugnessy’s “Ode”

poetry friday

Myra here.

I am happy to once again be joining the Poetry Friday community hosted this week by Carol’s Corner. As we continue to search for titles that fit into our current reading theme (see below):


I was reminded of Isol’s Nocturne which I just booktalked during our research dissemination initiatives to various groups of international and local librarians. How could I have forgotten this utterly magical book.


Nocturne: Dream Recipes

Writer: Isol
Published by: Groundwood Books, House of Anansi Press. ISBN: 1554981794 (ISBN13: 9781554981793)
Bought personal copy of the book.

The cover says that this is a “glow-in-the-dark bedtime book” and that is correct, but it’s so much more. This book features a variety of dreams: from the boring book dream or the dream of being another, or the dream underwater, or the dream of the door that should not be opened, or the roommate dream, just to name a few.



All that you have to do is to find a dream that tempts you, and before going to bed, open it to the dream you’ve chosen, place it on the night table under a bright light because according to Isol: “A dream is like a moth that loves to get close to the light when no one is looking.” Then you have to be patient, and wait for five minutes and don’t make any noise lest you scare the dream away, then put it where you can see it when lying in bed, then turn out the light, and you see this.

102e877aa76e52920fc8f7bc54ead1d8 edf709a5854ae3f327ae73ac3670df65

I tried it myself, and saw these glorious fantastical images:


A friend shared this one with me:


This is a perfect gift to your young ones this Christmas, I assure you. And for more Poetry goodness, I share with you a fragment from O’Shaugnessy’s Ode. I took a photo of the page and edited it using an iPhone app.


Here’s to us, music-makers, dreamers of dreams, movers and shakers of the world.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

9 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Isol’s Nocturne and O’Shaugnessy’s “Ode”

  1. What a cool book! This looks like the perfect present for the middle grade crowd on my Christmas list! Especially those who are not too sure about reading!


  2. Nocturne: Dream Recipes looks wonderful, Myra. What a creative idea for dream-making. And the Ode is special for all of us in the wake of such tremulous times. Thank you!


  3. maryleehahn

    A book that would help me dream…wow! I love how the ode connects to the dream book!


  4. What a strange and wonderful book!! There’s so much room for interpretation and storytelling, as young readers imagine what’s going on and being said in each scene. What an imaginative book.


  5. Wow, this is different! Such imagination. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.


  6. What a cool book, and I love the poem, too. I’m grateful for music makers, once and all.


  7. That’s a cool book! 😀


  8. What an intriguing book, Myra. I hadn’t heard of it. Love the poem, too, and the way you present it.


  9. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Quirky Picturebooks for Your Collection – Gathering Books

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