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ARTHUR'S DREAM BOAT by Polly Dunbar Kirkus Star


by Polly Dunbar & illustrated by Polly Dunbar

Age Range: 2 & up

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5867-0
Publisher: Candlewick

Dunbar imaginatively transforms a seaside memory of a small boy in the ocean and a boat on the distant horizon into Arthur’s adventure with a dream boat.

Arthur wakes up with a boat on his head, telling his dog he’s had an “amazing” dream. “Last night I dreamed about a pink-and-green boat with a striped mast,” he tells his brother. When Arthur describes the boat to his mother, it has “polka-dotted sails.” He adds a golden flag to the description he gives his baby sister and a “beautiful figurehead” when he describes it to his father. But no one’s paying attention to Arthur or the remarkable boat that's growing larger and more elaborate atop his head. The line between dreams and reality blurs when Arthur yells, “Listen to me,” and everyone must pay attention as ocean water engulfs them while Arthur sails the waves in his dream boat. Humorous, exuberant pencil-and-watercolor illustrations give visual representation to the dream boat as it adds a striped mast, polka-dotted sails, a golden flag and figurehead, mirroring details in Arthur’s environment. Exaggerated facial expressions and effective use of white space trace the metamorphosis of Arthur’s family from nonchalant self-absorption to amazement as waters rise and the dream boat gloriously expands.

A real attention-getter. (Picture book. 2 & up)