Dream Away by J. Durango and K. Belle Trupiano
Durango, Julia, and Katie Belle Trupiano. Dream Away. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2011. Print.
This is a delightful picture book with a gentle rhyme designed to lull children to sleep. Reminiscent of “Moonbeam on a Cat’s Ear”, the father and child dream of sailing through the cosmos in an “old paper boat”. They have a magical crew of a knight, a winged horse, two winged cats (pixies) and a dog. As they wander through the heavens they are chased by the animals of the constellations. Eventually, even the clouds and the moon fall asleep. The rhymes are predictable - moon/balloon, seas/breeze, float/boat – the iambic pentameter rhythm is strong and regular, so pre-readers will quickly memorize the story and want to “read” along.
While the colours in the illustrations are strong, all of the figures are soft-edged and rounded, giving everything a cuddly appearance. The images often add content to the story. For example, when the text reads, “We played with a bear, an archer, a hare. A dragon gave chase, but the crew won the race”, the images show us a constellation bear throwing a ball of light and the boy on the edge of the boat, ready to swing at it with his baseball bat. As they “glide down a glimmering slide”, we see the boy holding on to the winged horse’s tail, while the horse tows the boat down the Milky Way. The moon is a balloon tied to the back of the boat. In the final pages of the book, we see that most of the things in the story, the planets, cats, dog, winged horse and baseball bat are all objects in the boy’s room and he is wearing a paper hat shaped like the boat.
This is a lovely, peaceful lullaby that is highly recommended for public libraries and small children’s rooms everywhere.
Highly Recommended: 4 stars out of 4
Reviewer: Sandy Campbell
Sandy is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Alberta, who has written hundreds of book reviews across many disciplines. Sandy thinks that sharing books with children is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give.