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Dreamer Hardcover – 13 Sep 2016
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"A skilful blend of fiction and nonfiction that makes for thought-provoking bedtime reading and early classroom discussion."--School Library Journal
About the Author
Brian Moses is one of Britain's favourite children's poets and he is featured on the National Poetry Archive. He has written more than 200 books and has sold over one million of his poetry books and anthologies. He has now performed his poetry and percussion show in over two thousand schools across UK and Europe. Brian lives in Burwash, East Sussex. Bee Willey was born in London, spent her childhood in France and now lives in Ipswich, Suffolk. She has illustrated many fiction covers and picture books for children including the acclaimed Edward Lear's Nonsense Rhymes, The Wooden Dragon by Joan Aiken and How to be a Princess by Caitlin Matthews. She was shortlisted for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Award for her stunning illustrations for Bob Robber and Dancing Jane by Andrew Matthews. Bee draws, paints and uses mixed media and collage in her multi-layered paintings.
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However. My disappointment with the book is that the theme is all about the environment with suggestions of how you can go about helping environmental organisations... all good so far.
But the publishers have seen fit to have it printed in China where concern for the environment is not a high priority. I feel if you are going to be this preachy, as author, illustrator and publisher you should pay attention to and take responsibility for its means of production. You should not go sending it for printing on the other side of the world by a country who's respect for the environment is questionable at best and then tell us how sad it is that the pandas have no bamboo and the elephant is being hunted for its tusks.
Shame on you.
I love to walk. We are so lucky to have wonderful places to enjoy. But I admit to feeling incredibly saddened when I come across a river or stream, relaxing and beautiful, only to see cans floating in it, crisp packets or other rubbish. I don’t understand what possess people to do this. Animal cruelty is unspeakable to me, I don’t even have the words for how I feel about that.
This book addresses all the issues here with regards to our environment. It explores all the beautiful places which have been gradually eroded and destroyed by our disrespectful society. It looks at the animals who are suffering at the hands of hunters or ivory poachers. I think if some of us could flick a switch and stop these things happening, I’m sure we would. A perfect world without any of these atrocities is created here, in a gorgeous and gentle poetic style from Brian Moses, dreamlike really, just like the book itself.
The illustrations from Bee Willey add to that unreal feel. They are soft and calming, yet bursting with stunning natural colour and detail. They compliment Brian’s words perfectly creating a vivid world from land to sea to rainforest. A world we all truly wish we could live in. Quiet and untouched.
The book ends on a really touchingly sweet note, that made me smile and will you too.
Although this book is essentially fictional and poetic in style, it addresses important issues so the back page contains some really great informative notes on how the world is really being affected by them, and they make for brutal reading. There’s also a really handy list of websites you can visit to find out more. All these aspects make this book a fantastic tool for teaching children of all ages about general environmental issues within a classroom library or home environment. There are lots of non-fiction books on this, but few picture poetry books to really engage children.
That is what is really important about books like these. This has a very important point to make, and it’s incredibly successful at that. There’s loads of scope for discussion and writing work here, yet it is a sweet, beautifully written and illustrated story that children will genuinely enjoy and want to read.