One of my beloved summer pastimes is the hunt for gleaming agates on the rocky North Shore of Lake Superior. Finding this book was like spotting a shiny agate among the gray pebbles—a hidden treasure glowing with rainbow stripes. Dream: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom and Wishes stands out among its competition—it is a unique and lovely picture book about getting older from infant to old age, and appropriate for everyone from 8 to older adult.
Each stage of life is captured with an embarrassment of riches in this award winning book— beautiful prose, wisely chosen quotes and glowing illustrations by fifteen renowned illustrators. Author Susan V. Bosak is the founder of the Legacy Project, a multi-generational education initiative and the book is used as part of their Across Generations and LifeDreams Programs.
The narrator is represented by an old star—she shares her life’s focus as a baby, a toddler, a child, a teen, an adult and an older adult. Dream (TCP Press) highlights the challenges and joys of each stage such as the toddlers’ explorations, the child’s imagination, and then adolescence…
“When I became a teenager,
I liked blue.
Everyone likes blue.
There’s a whole 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.”
But this book doesn’t stop with the dreams and possibilities of teens and adults, it delves into the realities of the black and white world of grown-ups. Like a new day it even tackles the gray—the responsibilities, the stomped-on dreams and the times you just want to “…hide your head under the covers of your bed.” Fortunately this book also shares the secrets to dreaming a dream, to finding hope, and moving on.
Gray turns into green, “older and strong again,” as the older adult shares wisdom with other generations. “You need the Believe of childhood, the Do of youth, and the Think of experience. You need all three.” The narrator is very, very old at the end and dreaming different dreams. “Mostly they’re wishes for those who follow.”
Our life’s journey is shown in multiple layers in this award winning book—ideal for stimulating conversations between the generations. Each lovely illustration is very different from the others and perfect for its corresponding life stage. Endnotes explain the pictures and make it simple to add them to the discussion (Also see Secrets of the Artists–such as Caldecott Award Winners Leo and Diane Dillon).
Challenge yourself to your very own Intergenerational Project, large or small. It could be one child and one book—“Positive Aging” of course…or you could treat a whole classroom of children—think of the impact! Dream is a great choice, and my website lists many helpful intergenerational resources including other Positive Aging children’s books to make it easy for you. My book reviews such as this one give ideas for starting conversations about growing older.
(Reviews are on this blog and also noted under the book on the resource list.)
Check out some helpful links available to make using Dream easy and fun for all ages.
How to Do an Intergenerational Reading—with kids aged 8-14 and adapting for teens
How to Make Story Time a Dream—Adapting book for children 7 and younger
CD of Dream—all the illustrations and read by the author Susan V. Bosak (seen above)
I’ve imagined our life on earth as filled with a rainbow riot of color and energy since On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier splashed onto the scene 25 years ago. My son was a baby, I was a new mom, and her book welcomed him to his rightful place in the natural world. Now, as he launches into the world as a young adult, the picture book Dream: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom and Wishes welcomes him into the rainbow riot of life and dreams. This is another book perfect for gifting to the people you love reaching life’s milestones.
Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of this book. I was not required to write a review and I received no payment for this post.