A short, charming bedtime book for children that stresses the positive power of dreams.

Dream-O-Doodle

A number of dream landscapes inspire the imaginations of a girl and a boy as they drop off to sleep.

This debut picture book begins with two small children as they climb into their separate beds at the end of the day. But, as the text announces, “that’s where the adventure really starts.” The pages that follow present 11 different dream scenarios, including animals, robots, dinosaurs, fairy tales, cars and planes, and magic and monsters. The work describes each topic in a four-line stanza of verse simple and entertaining enough to be read to a 3-year-old, yet challenging enough to provide interest to 6-year-olds puzzling out words on their own. For example, the “Animals” section promises: “A jungle, an ocean, savannah, and woods / Will make an explorer of you. /You'll mingle with creatures amazing and mighty, / And travel the world through and through.” The “Dinosaurs” segment observes: “Dinosaurs are awesome! / They’re mighty, big, and strong! / But would you really like to meet one? / ‘No, thanks—we might not get along.’ ” And “Cars” offers youngsters: “Exciting, speedy, fabulous cars— / You choose whichever you please, / And race into your dreamy world, / Winning the trophy with ease.” Roberts’ vivid illustrations provide engaging details without becoming too busy. Taylor’s choice of dream subjects covers many areas of perennial interest to children, and though one could wish for more episodes and diverse characters, the length is appropriate for bedtime-story reading. And the idea of sending children off to sleep with an upbeat suggestion of the vast possibilities of the dream world is original and empowering. But the book’s title is a bit puzzling, and the lackluster cover fails to do justice to the colorful pages within. Parents trying to avoid weapon play may be displeased by a gun-toting robot who says “B.L.A.S.T,” and the “Fairy Tales” page offers gender stereotypes, with the boys as knights and the girls as princesses. But most of the dreams give both boys and girls active roles, and the overall effect remains captivating and fun.

A short, charming bedtime book for children that stresses the positive power of dreams.

Pub Date: July 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4602-9570-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2016

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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