A bunny sees a bird—and a seemingly silly notion takes hold, stubbornly survives setbacks, and pushes and pulls its way into something real.
The illustrations, made from block prints and a simply inked animal cast that features rabbits with long, propellerlike ears, add the plotline to Agaoglu’s terse and abstract narrative: “Once upon a time there was a dream, / a dream that tried to take shape.” Said dream begins as a sketch-filled wall and chalkboard and continues through failed experiments involving a trampoline and other aids. After being put away in a “tiny box” but being “too alive to sit in one place,” the dream culminates at last in a multibunny construct that “flew into the light. And sparkled with every color that people could see. / And even a few that they couldn’t.” That final line isn’t the only one that will leave readers scratching their heads. Still, in contrast to such stories as Kobi Yamada’s What Do You Do with an Idea? (illustrated by Mae Besom, 2014) that offer more concrete—and therefore, perhaps, limiting—visualizations of what a dream looks like, the allusive language and imagery here open the concept to more universal possibilities. Even if the text is hard to pin down, the images offer much to consider and chuckle at, from bunnies on ski jumps and with hang gliders to the final, improbable result.
A difficult but rewarding debut. (Picture book. 7-10)