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When the World Is Dreaming Hardcover – September 6, 2016
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A solitary girl, leaf and flower tucked into her windblown hair, follows a variety of animals through a meadow, pondering the nature of their dreams. With two spreads per subject, each of her musings begins with a question, e.g., "What does Little Deer dream at the end of the day? After the walking, the grazing, the play." This pattern repeats for the snake, the newt, the rabbit, the mouse, the turtle, and the "dreamer" herself, substituting the next creature and changing the two gerunds. While the repetition is likely intended to induce sleep, the use of the same closing verses for each animal and lines that sometimes strain to scan in the descriptions of the dreams make the result a bit monotonous. The dreams themselves have child appeal, especially as realized by Pak's verdant watercolor and digital scenes. The protagonist appears to be exploring during daylight in a grassy area near home; the pages are often framed with leafy branches or pond plants. There's a small degree of excitement or tension in the dreams—the snake imagines soaring as a kite tail; the deer shelters under a mushroom during a thunderstorm. The creatures sleep blissfully, "safe and warm," as does the child, ultimately, tucked in and surrounded by her outdoor friends. The book opens with a haiku poem written by the 18th-century Japanese poet Fukuda Chiyo-ni: "ah butterfly/of what do you dream/folding your wings?" VERDICT While the inspiration, ideas, and illustrations are lovely, the spare grace of that original thought is lost in this interpretation.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library
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a girl wonders what each animal dreams in a repeating refrain. "Ah butterfly of what do you dream folding your wings?" Each new animal page is followed by a poem about that animal. The ending circles back to the girl dreaming and the illustrations show the girl's room full of scientific equipment. She is a girl who explores her environment, not just dreams her day away. The text is soft and dreamy itself and the slightly strange, sweet, soft graphic pictures are a perfect accompaniment. The whole is cohesive using a beautiful palette.