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by Isol & illustrated by Isol

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-55498-179-3
Publisher: Groundwood

This innovative title puts a spin on bedtime reading but ends up being more of a gift book with an interesting premise than a children's picture book that can deliver on its promise.

Unique physical design is immediately apparent as a spiral binding at the top of the book invites readers to flip pages from the bottom, while the back cover folds out into a base that enables the book to stand upright like an easel. Introductory text says that “this book offers a list of possible dreams and inspiring visions that will guide your sleeping hours.” Instructions for carrying out the “dream recipes” follow, telling readers to select a page, put it under bright light for five minutes and then turn out the lights to see the glowing “traces that the dream leaves behind” in order to then follow them in one’s sleep. The dreamscapes have brief text introducing each scene: "The Dream of the dead singer"; "The cozy, warm Dream." The scenes themselves have spare illustrations that then reveal richer glow-in-the-dark-details. Design ultimately trumps the conceit, however, since child readers might hinge their expectations on actually having dreams inspired by the pictures.

A clever idea, but one that is better suited to older readers as a gift book than to young children’s bedtime routines. (Novelty. 10-14)