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Dream-O-Doodle

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

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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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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TALES FOR VERY PICKY EATERS

Broccoli: No way is James going to eat broccoli. “It’s disgusting,” says James. Well then, James, says his father, let’s consider the alternatives: some wormy dirt, perhaps, some stinky socks, some pre-chewed gum? James reconsiders the broccoli, but—milk? “Blech,” says James. Right, says his father, who needs strong bones? You’ll be great at hide-and-seek, though not so great at baseball and kickball and even tickling the dog’s belly. James takes a mouthful. So it goes through lumpy oatmeal, mushroom lasagna and slimy eggs, with James’ father parrying his son’s every picky thrust. And it is fun, because the father’s retorts are so outlandish: the lasagna-making troll in the basement who will be sent back to the rat circus, there to endure the rodent’s vicious bites; the uneaten oatmeal that will grow and grow and probably devour the dog that the boy won’t be able to tickle any longer since his bones are so rubbery. Schneider’s watercolors catch the mood of gentle ribbing, the looks of bewilderment and surrender and the deadpanned malarkey. It all makes James’ father’s last urging—“I was just going to say that you might like them if you tried them”—wholly fresh and unexpected advice. (Early reader. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-547-14956-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

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