Dreams—not the kind that slip into the head while sleeping, but the sort that inspire creativity or making contributions to the good—are what this intergenerational book is about.
It begins: “Once, long ago when all the stars were born, I was a baby,” and leads the reader through the various stages of life until the narrator is “very old” and dreaming mostly “wishes for those who follow.”
What transpires between birth and old age is a magical and sometimes wistful portrayal of the stages of life, each represented by favorite colors, including gloomy periods of gray, “the color of a dismal day.” Almost everyone, including young children, can to relate to that experience. But then, something happens in the gloom that nudges a person to keep going, and life turns green when the world is at its best.
The author punctuates her poetic text with apt quotations, such as “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” William Butler Yeats, Oscar Hammerstein II, Neil Armstrong, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Marie Curie are among the notables quoted. The dust jacket also quotes the like of Shakespeare and Socrates, but their words have been fabricated to endorse the book. This may amuse adults, but might confuse children.
The book is remarkable for its thought-provoking illustrations by fifteen artists, including winners of the Hans Christian Andersen Medal and the Caldecott Medal. Their styles are dramatically varied, but each focuses on the theme of dreams. Readers are encouraged to find a star in each illustration, and the type of stars range from the twinkling kind to the Star of David.
The 9-x-11¼-inch format suggests a picture book for young children, but the complexity of ideas requires adult involvement and interaction. Bosak is the author of Something to Remember Me By and How to Build the Grandma Connection. The illustrators are Wayne Anderson, James Bennett, Christian Birmingham, Mike Carter, Raul Colon, Leo and Diane Dillon, Zhong-Yang Huang, Robert Ingpen, Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher, Michele Lemieux, Barbara Reid, Shaun Tan, and Bruce Wood.
This book challenges readers ages eight through adult not just to dream, but to pursue those dreams to make the world a better place. That is something for young and old to dream about together.