Born from memories of a Southern, rural childhood, these classic lyrics evoke simplicity, dreams, and a shimmering journey with a “huckleberry friend.”
Hopgood’s ethereal, mixed-media illustrations depict a brown-skinned, dark-haired girl who wakes from sleep with her stuffed bear and follows a shining, rippling path—a Moon River—out her window, accompanied by her rocking horse. Once outside, the horse and bear come to life, and the three friends embark on a journey to dreamland, together with other children and their animated stuffies. They travel across a sparkling lake, past a snowy mountaintop, and through the end of the rainbow, the colorful, watery reflection of which ripples across the page. This remarkable journey is the crux of the story, full of tranquility and camaraderie, as the friends travel deeper into the night, surrounded by pale white clouds and floating musical notes that recall the lyrical origin of the story. In the vein of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, buildings from around the world appear in ghostly outlines against dark backgrounds, signaling to readers how far the characters have journeyed from home. When at last the friends return home, the horse and bear become toys once again, but this dreamlike odyssey will be waiting for tomorrow’s bedtime.
A classic song set to modern illustrations for a delightful reminder that friends are with us even in our dreams. (Picture book. 3-5)