What Wonders Do You See… When You Dream?
“The day has ended. Hasn’t it been splendid? But now, it’s time, to be sure, for an entirely different adventure.”
So begins Justine Avery’s book What Wonders Do You See . . . When You Dream?. A lovely engaging kids picture book that isn’t too long, nor too short, but just the right length for a fun bedtime story. It sets the scene wonderfully to be read to a child or co-read with a child (as I did with my son) just before they go to bed. Each page has a short, detailed sentence or two, as it goes over the events of the day that were busy and energy-consuming, but were also a lot of fun, nevertheless are now over. The routine has now to be completed for going to bed and getting to sleep: “Now that we’ve done all the tidying, where are those pajamas hiding? There they are! Now put them on. It’s time to stretch for a long lovely yawn.”
And it’s time to be tucked in and slowly close your eyes, for it is time to go to sleep like we do every night.
“Now let your little eyes fall close. Shut them tight — no peeking! For I will know if you are sneaking.”
And while numerous children’s books would come to a close here, this one is only just beginning as the reader (and listener) get to explore the world of a child’s dreams, filled with color and life and activity and complexity and imagination. The illustrations in the book, by Liuba Syrotiuk, are simply breathtaking, with their complexity, but also bursting with color and life. The details are minor and simple that makes it clear what is going on, but also allowing the reader and viewer to add further with their imaginations.
Once the dreams begin, it is like beginning a new story and new book to some extent, with the sheer variety of color and detail with the illustrations that immediately captivate the reader. They inspire as well as draw one closer to study and learn more. They epitomize the essence of dreams which we all have, balancing common, normal events and details with the bizarre and unusual because if dreams can be called anything, they are unpredictable.
Justine Avery’s book is anything but the predictable, expected kid’s book. The entertaining rhyming scheme with the short sentences but use of complex, multi-syllabic words makes it a great education tool for the children reading along. I actually read it with my son and had him read some of the pages, which he had a lot of fun doing. Then the artwork is just so lovely and engrossing that it makes one wish for some of this artwork on one’s wall. What Wonders Do You See . . . When You Dream? is a thoroughly enjoyable children’s night-time story that works for kindergartners, as well as older and younger kids.