Tuesday, July 9, 2013

ARC Review: The Pajamas of My Dreams by Laurie Collins

The Pajamas of My DreamsThe Pajamas of My Dreams
Written by Laurie Collins 
Illustrated by Margie Florini
Three Bean Press
YA/Picture Book
4 out of 5 Stars

Inspired by the Pajama Drive of children’s service agency Cradles to Crayons, librarian Laurie Collins and fine artist Margie Florini have created a soulful story illustrated in beautiful cut-paper collage that depicts children all tucked in their beds, wondering, “What will I be when I grow up?”

As the children drift off to sleep they ponder what their futures hold; they dream of becoming artists, professional hockey players, doctors or master chefs. Tomorrow’s bakers see cupcakes and confections sprinkled on the pajamas of their dreams, while budding entomologists envision ants and butterflies on theirs. This classic picture book also considers those who don’t have the luxury of such dreams—children’s whose wishes are simpler and more immediate.

First of all, it's the title that drew me to this book. The youngest in the family, my four year old niece, was having a bit of trouble getting to sleep so it's the right book at the right time. 

Of course I had to flip through it first so there would be no surprises when we'd go through the book together. I have to say that the richness if the illustrations surprised me, maybe because one of my favorite books as a child was Christine's Picture Book (H.C. Andersen) and deconstructed books fascinate me today. But the intricacy and layers that the collages held would definitely provide a lot of talking points for us. 

And I love the fact that "real" words are used - I don't talk down to any kids and mine own haven't used baby words in their lives. So terms like "entomologist," "paleontologist," and "equestrian" are very much welcomed in my household. 

But the real test isn't me, it's the little girl. We settled down one Friday bedtime and read the book. She reads by herself, so it was more of me guiding her through it. As expected, we did have quite an interesting discussion on the collages! She rolled the new words over her tongue and has started sprinkling them in her conversations. I loved the look on my brother's face when she first threw out  "Mathematician" and "Ankylosaurus!"

The fact that she remembers the short stories more than a week after and has started to relate the designs on her clothes to what she is (A kitten, at this point. She's a 4yo, what do you expect?) and what others are (Her mommy is now a mathematician since she works in a bank.) shows that this little tale has a lot to offer in awakening the imagination of a child. 

I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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