What Wonders Do You See… When You Dream?
It’s the end of another splendid day and time for a different kind of adventure. Bedtime! Brush your teeth and find those pajamas. Get into bed and cuddle up close. If it’s hard to settle down, then swallow those giggles and nestle in tight. Close your eyes and unlock your imagination. There are some amazing things waiting for you. Bedtime is a magical time. Let the dreams begin.
Justine Avery’s What Wonders Do You See…When You Dream? is a sweet tale that speaks to the restless child at bedtime. The book first lists out the ritual before bed. Put the toys away and grab those pajamas. Then crawl into bed. This helps young readers with ants in their pants to wind down. For those children who still wiggle under the covers, the story addresses them, too. It tells them to buckle up those chuckles—sniggle every giggle. Relax those fingers and toes, and let the eyelids slowly close. Take a deep breath and blow it out. Again. The singsong rhyme and rhythm helps lull young readers to sleep, and the story’s instructions are almost hypnotic.
Only once the child is calm and steady, all settled and comfy, will the story reveal the magical world of a child’s imagination. The character walks through a white curtain opening up to a rainbow of color, transitioning from the ordinary world to the dream world through a tear in the blank page. This is from Liuba Syrotiuk’s own clever imagination. Her vibrant watercolors have amazing details on every page. The characters come to life and float through each scene, running through the house or bouncing on the bed. Syrotiuk then leaves young readers with dazzling images of the dream world in the last pages of the book.
There are some inconsistencies in the rhyme and rhythm that makes reading the story aloud difficult in the beginning. But then the story slows down and finds its rhythm, shifting the tone into a lovely lullaby. There are a few lines that feel forced into the rhyming scheme. The text also wanders at the end of the story, losing its rhythm again. Minimal text would have better served the images at the end. But this does not take away from the beauty of the book. The alliteration is fun to read, and the story has the ability to coax that restless child into dreamland. What Wonders Do You See…When You Dream? is a wonderful choice for bedtime reading.
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