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by You Byun illustrated by You Byun

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Feb. 21st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-399-25739-1
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

A little girl’s “dream friend” assuages her loneliness after a family move.

Every night Melody ascends a spiral staircase from her bedroom to her dreams, where she plays with a giant, fluffy white dog sporting a red bow tie. He surprises her “with lovely things,” and they play hide-and-seek and watch fireworks together. But Melody must leave her idyllic dream world during the day, and in the “real world,” she languishes in loneliness on the playground—“she was too shy to talk to the other children.” “Coax[ing]” her dream friend into the real world doesn’t work, but one day on the playground, she imagines dancing with him, attracting the attention of a friendly girl in overalls. “Melody taught her the dance she learned from her friend. Soon everyone on the playground was dancing with them.” While newcomer Byun’s story is a little on the bland and idealized side, her illustrations entrance. Delicate lines and a retro pastel palette create a friendly, surreal dream world and an appealing neighborhood playground filled with a multiethnic cast of chubby-cheeked children. The sequence in which Melody tries to convince her dream friend to come into the world is particularly funny; she sets a trail of cupcakes and tries with main force to squash him through her door, among other stratagems.

Readers will want to go to sleep right away in hopes of summoning their own dream friends. (Picture book. 4-7)