A dreamscape unfurls as a dad reads a bedtime story to his son.
The red-haired boy is in bed, still wearing his paper hat, while his red-haired dad reads to him (the illustration in the book dad holds is the same one readers see). “In a dream we did float in an old paper boat,” and off they go to the heavens, deep blue with a yellow moon-balloon to pull them along. They float past constellations embodied, planets and UFOs, accompanied by winged pets, a Pegasus and cloud shapes that morph amazingly. When they return to the last couplet, just like the first—“Dream away, dream away, sleepyhead, love. / Set sail for the ocean of stars up above”—the boy’s bedroom vista expands so readers can see his cats, the dog, his fish, his mobile of the planets and the framed photograph of three red-haired guys of three generations that peopled his dreamtime, albeit in somewhat different shape and form. The pictures were made in oils on cotton, and one can see their rich texture, but the overall effect is smoothed over and out like computer art. The colors are strong, and in the final image the big full moon morphs back into the winsome face of the yellow balloon.Odd but pleasant, and the pictures give readers lots to return to even if the verse wears a bit. (Picture book. 4-8)