A beautifully illustrated dreamscape falls short of amazing and edges toward confusion.
Adam, a happy, imaginative boy, dreams big dreams at night with the help of his guardian angel. But this particular night, Adam’s dream is a doorway to reality, a reality even his parents don’t know yet. Based on a story told to the author by her then 3-and-a-half-year-old son, this, her first interactive book, aims to communicate both the importance of dreams and imagination and the connection between dreams and reality. LaCalamita’s illustrations underscore the book’s ethereal tone with a 3-dimensional pop-up aesthetic throughout. Images emerge from the open book and hover above the page, inviting readers into Adam’s world, while ambient music plays softly in the background. Unfortunately, this dreamscape narrative drags itself into the mist with clunky, sugary, overdescriptive prose. After Adam explains he believes he has met his soon-to-be baby sister in his dream, the narrative becomes positively heavy-handed: “Mommy and Daddy believe when our spirits are in heaven, we choose a family to become the best person we can be. Your dream means that a special little spirit was letting us know that she has chosen us, or in this case you!” Some parents might take issue with the spiritual overtones here, and those struggling with infertility might find the message an even bigger pill to swallow.
Any way you look at it, it's a confusing door to open with 3-to-5-year-olds, especially right before bedtime. (iPad storybook app. 3-5)