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The Dreamer Library Binding – October, 1993


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Library Binding: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Trade; 4th Printing edition (October 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590473417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590473415
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #926,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The inspired re-pairing of Rylant and Moser, whose previous collaborative effort yielded the evocative and deeply personal Appalachia , proves that the talented author and artist share more than geography. This time around they offer a fanciful yet reverent interpretation of Genesis. Imagining God as a "young artist who lived all alone, quietly, and who spent his days as most young artists do: daydreaming," Newbery Medalist Rylant ( Missing May ) endows the story with both compassion and caprice. Deciding to "make what he saw in his mind," the artist fashions a star, followed by heavens, then earth, etc., and finally, "a new artist in his own image. Shyly pleased with himself, he made another one. He loved the company. He made one more." Moser's design alternates stark white pages showing life-size watercolor illustrations of a pair of hands (crafting stars with scissors, sketching the human form with a fountain pen) with color-drenched panoramas of the artist's "creations." That the creator's hands are Caucasian may be inappropriate; however, a spread of the artist's "children" depicts them as a multi-ethnic assembly. All ages.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-"There once was a young artist who lived all alone, quietly, and who spent his days as most young artists do: daydreaming." What follows is a sentimental and personal vision of the Biblical Creation story. Rylant chooses her words carefully, and the text has a certain ineffable quality, but not the transcendent power of James Weldon Johnson's emotional poem, The Creation (Little, 1993), or the heroic simplicity of Leonard Everett Fisher's David and Goliath (Holiday, 1993). However, The Dreamer is a handsome, well-designed book. From the title page, sprinkled with stars, to the parchment-colored endpapers, it has a clear, open, almost pristine look that suits the text. Moser's signature watercolors include some evocative images. All that readers see is the creator's hands-cutting out stars, extending the globe of the world against the heavens, drawing with a pen. Readers are looking over the artist's shoulder, or by extension, are doing the creating themselves. The story is heartfelt, but it lacks the complexity of thought found in Rylant's novels, or even in her easy-to-read "Henry and Mudge" series (Bradbury). For libraries looking for another interpretation of the Creation story, this is a visually attractive choice, but not a first purchase.
Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Cynthia Rylant is the author of numerous distinguished novels and picture books for young readers. In addition to her beginning-reader series: Henry and Mudge, Poppleton, and Mr. Putter and Tabby, as well as her Cobble Street Cousins early-chapter series, she is also the author of the Newbery Medal-winning Missing May, the Newbery Honor Book A Fine White Dust, and two Caldecott Honor-winning picture books.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Library Binding
I never understood why we term these stories "creation myths" - since to those who believe, it's not a myth. And those who don't believe might be wrong! But, anyway, this would be a good story to add to a unit on tales of the creation of the world, since it deals with the Christian seven days of creation. The word God isn't mentioned until the final page, the action centers around a young artist and dreamer who is inspired to create the beautiful things he sees in his mind. He works slowly, and takes his time, finding joy in the beauty around him. At the end, he chooses to make some people he can share all his work with, someone he can really talk to. And they make children, and those children make more children, and so on. This is beautifully illustrated and a very quiet calm book which would inspire any child to feel loved.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 1998
Format: Library Binding
This was one of the first books I was "wowed" by when I began doing children's programming about five years ago. The story is a beautiful creation story, explaining how the world and all the wonders in it came to be. But the art work is spectacular! Moser's illustrations and Rylant's words make for an unbeatable combination. A definite addition to any Church library, but also for anyone who wishes to share the beauty of the Christian creation story with children.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 27, 1998
Format: Library Binding
A soothing tale of creation from a perspective even a two year old can understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Will Riddle on July 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
By saying this is the Creation story "lite" I don't mean it's bad. This is a great addition to the library, which is why I gave it five stars. But readers should be aware it is not the orthodox story-- you can tell it has been watered down. Still, in today's vast landscape of Leftism, this a rare treat-- very similar to William Steig's "Yellow and Pink."

Rylant portrays God as a shy artist who begins Creation with an idea, then stars/heavens, then the earth, then water, grass/trees, birds/fish, animals, then mankind. She gets the Genesis 1 order a little mixed up, as you can see, and stays away from Adam and Eve or anything that would be controversial; indeed this is a creation account for those who are not looking for a rehash of Genesis 1. But it is not contradictory to the biblical text in any way. It is mostly concerned with the imagination of God, His posture as artist and designer, and gentle/modest character. It is trying to give the child a glimpse into God's possible thoughts as a Creator. It is a literary study in point of view, not dogma. It should be seen in this context.

It is a written in a way that will capture childrens' minds, with very short and easy to understand sentences, just a couple per page. Definitely the best part are the huge lifelike illustrations, which are 100% fabulous and capture the tone of the book. If you have an artsy child, or daydreamer-type, they will especially like this book. My seven yr old son who loves to do art all day, was enthralled with this book, probably because he could relate to the creation process Rylant described... God making stars and getting so wrapped up with it, that soon He was surrounded by the heavens, for example.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon User on June 18, 2010
Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
The illustrations in this book are beautiful. The text is simple and poignant. I like giving it as a gift, as it touches on spirituality without preaching.
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