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Dream-O-Doodle by Ursula Taylor


by Ursula Taylor illustrated by J.P. Roberts

Pub Date: July 21st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4602-9570-0
Publisher: FriesenPress

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.