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Ursula Taylor

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In 2015 Ursula Taylor stopped being "just a mom". The years spent on reading to her children opened a new chapter in her life. During a typical spring Monday morning, following a fruitless trip to the bookstore in search of a new story, the idea of "Dream-O-Doodle" was born. With fantastic support from her family this debut picture book was published in 2016. Ursula Taylor deeply believes that there is a direct connection between bedtime reading and a good night sleep. Seeing many parents and children struggle with bedtime, she hopes that her jolly rhymes will create a positive, stress-free atmosphere and allow families to spend precious moments together. After years spent in Europe, Ursula and her family have finally settled in sunny California. She has three wonderfully crazy children and a less crazy, but equally wonderful husband. They love nature, adventuring outdoors and traveling "off the beaten track" .

Dream-O-Doodle Cover
CHILDREN'S & TEEN

Dream-O-Doodle

BY Ursula Taylor • POSTED ON July 21, 2016

A number of dream landscapes inspire the imaginations of a girl and a boy as they drop off to sleep.

This debut picture book begins with two small children as they climb into their separate beds at the end of the day. But, as the text announces, “that’s where the adventure really starts.” The pages that follow present 11 different dream scenarios, including animals, robots, dinosaurs, fairy tales, cars and planes, and magic and monsters. The work describes each topic in a four-line stanza of verse simple and entertaining enough to be read to a 3-year-old, yet challenging enough to provide interest to 6-year-olds puzzling out words on their own. For example, the “Animals” section promises: “A jungle, an ocean, savannah, and woods / Will make an explorer of you. /You'll mingle with creatures amazing and mighty, / And travel the world through and through.” The “Dinosaurs” segment observes: “Dinosaurs are awesome! / They’re mighty, big, and strong! / But would you really like to meet one? / ‘No, thanks—we might not get along.’ ” And “Cars” offers youngsters: “Exciting, speedy, fabulous cars— / You choose whichever you please, / And race into your dreamy world, / Winning the trophy with ease.” Roberts’ vivid illustrations provide engaging details without becoming too busy. Taylor’s choice of dream subjects covers many areas of perennial interest to children, and though one could wish for more episodes and diverse characters, the length is appropriate for bedtime-story reading. And the idea of sending children off to sleep with an upbeat suggestion of the vast possibilities of the dream world is original and empowering. But the book’s title is a bit puzzling, and the lackluster cover fails to do justice to the colorful pages within. Parents trying to avoid weapon play may be displeased by a gun-toting robot who says “B.L.A.S.T,” and the “Fairy Tales” page offers gender stereotypes, with the boys as knights and the girls as princesses. But most of the dreams give both boys and girls active roles, and the overall effect remains captivating and fun.

A short, charming bedtime book for children that stresses the positive power of dreams.

Pub Date: July 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4602-9570-0

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2016

Awards, Press & Interests

Favorite author

Mo Willems

Favorite book

Gruffalo

Unexpected skill or talent

Impromptu Rhyming

Passion in life

Traveling "off the beaten track" and spending time outdoors with my family, good food

BEDTIME BOOK’S ADVENTURES MAKE GOING TO SLEEP EASY AND FUN, 2017 Five things to know about Ursula Taylor, 2017