“I don’t dream at night, I dream all day; I dream for a living.”
– Steven Spielberg
I discovered Susan V. Bosak’s Dream in a thrift store. The title caught my attention, as well as the promise of seeing artworks by top illustrators. I brought the book home with me out of curiosity. In truth, Dream holds a subject that is very close to my heart.
Dream a Dream With Me. It was noted in the jacketflap that the book was more-than-five-years in the making. In other words, Dream was Susan’s ‘dream project.’ She dreamed about creating a picture book that talks about life’s hopes and dreams.
Look up, up, up
into those billion billion sparkling stars.
What dreams do you find?
Little dreams, big dreams,
each a hope looking for a life to make it real –
a life like yours. (p. 30)
Part of this dream project was working closely with internationally acclaimed artists that have won awards such as the Caldecott Medal, Hans Christian Andersen Medal, Society Illustrators Gold Medal, and Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year. Shaun Tan (The Arrival), Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher (The Boy on Fairfield Street), and Christian Brimingham (The Night Before Christmas) were among the specially chosen illustrators to become part of this creative journey.
The Dreamer in All of Us. Dream is narrated by a wise, old star that emerged from a Dream Chest sitting at the end of the rainbow. It invites the reader to join him in a once-in-a-lifetime journey.
Once, long ago when all the stars
were born, I was a baby.
My favorite color was yellow,
the color of the sun that peeked
in my window in the morning. (p. 5)
The star tells the story of his life, from birth to old age. Each stage of life is represented by a color, as can be seen from the excerpt above. I had to admit that, with my psych background, I could not help but be reminded of Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development. I was smiling upon reading the following lines,
When I became a teenager,
I liked blue.
Everyone likes blue.
There’s a world to figure out.
You think about finally growing up –
Who you are
Where you’re going
Why you’re going there
When the right time is
How it all fits together.
And you think about
having a good time along the way. (p. 11)
As the star continues to address the readers in each page, the latter becomes integrated in the story. When I was reading through it, I felt like the star was telling me my own story. Here are my favorite lines from the book,
Dreams grow like seeds.
They need to take root,
then stretch toward the sun.
They grow slowly.
They must be tended to.
And sometimes a gray day
gives them just the rain they need.
There’s something else too…
I understood that to grow a dream
you need more than the one I was.
the Believe of childhood,
the Do of youth,
and the Think of experience.
You need all three.
There’s the wisdom to fill a tooth,
simple and not so simple all at once:
Believe, Do, Think.
So, dream a dream with me. (pp. 25-27)
Endnotes. I am a dreamer; we are all dreamers in our own ways. Susan’s Dream helps us realize that, and encourages us to dream as many dreams as we can ‘til the end of our days. It is a comforting thought that there is no age requirement to dream. In fact, we have a lifetime to make our dreams come true.
About the Author
Susan V. Bosak is the Founding Chair of the Legacy Project, a multigenerational education initiative for families, schools, and community groups. As a lover of picture books, she says, “An illustrated story is an art form, a very unique kind of communication that can be multigenerational. It’s rather like a little movie you craft between two covers that has the power to reach both children and adults on many levels.”
Dream by Susan V. Bosak
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Communication Project (Oct 2004)
Blogger’s own copy of the book.
Dream is a winner of 10 national awards, including the International Reading Association Children’s Choice, the Benjamin Franklin Award (Best Book Celebrating the Human Spirit), Independent Publisher Award – Best Children’s Book, Children’s Book Center – Starred “Our Choice” among others.
AWB Reading Challenge Update: 5 of 35
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