DREAM BOATS by Dan Bar-el


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Age Range: 5 - 8
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In this rich if not very restful outing, drowsy children worldwide float into a succession of luxuriantly detailed mythscapes.

Bar-El provides a skimpy key to his cultural references at the end, but most young listeners would be better advised just to go with the flow. In terse free verse, the author sends young Maiqui on a voyage beneath Andean “maker of light” Viracocha, Aljuu to the shores of Haida Gwaii, Parvati beneath a shower of diamonds from Ganesh’s trunk. Likewise, other children enjoy quick encounters with figures and rituals from their respective traditions. In illustrations that hark back to Charles Mikolaycak’s dazzling, flat-perspective explosions of color and form, Wakelin portrays smiling children individually or collectively riding a canoe, reed boat, Russian frigate or other water craft into kaleidoscopic swirls of stars, flowers, supernatural animals or other figures, and welcoming family members. Those magical realms vanish with the sun and a final crowd of laughing children, but for dreamers who might wish to go back, the poet offers reassurance: “Would you remember the way? / Not to worry. Dream Boats remember. / Call them and they will come.”

A compressed but engaging invitation to think of dreams as fine adventures. (instructions for origami boat on endpapers) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 29th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-897476-87-1
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Simply Read
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2013


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