Author/Illustrator: Matthew Cordell
Publisher: Disney/Hyperion, May, 2017
Intended Ages: 2-5 (I'm saying adults!)
Themes: Babies, Families, Love
Opening Line: "On the night you were born, our world shined bright as the sun."
Synopsis: Talking to their child, two gorillas reminisce about his birth, all the emotions they experienced and their dreams for his future.
What I like about this book:This concept book takes a sentimental journey through the parent-child relationship. Like LOVE YOU FOREVER, I believe the text will appeal more to parents than to children, but the illustrations are adorable for all ages. The babies in my life never asked about the day they were born, but this would be fantastic for those who do. As a parent, I re-experienced all of the emotions on this journey. The spare text packs a powerful punch. Just look at that first line! Yes, when a baby is born, night can become day. Everything feels possible in a way it has never felt before.
Perhaps to make it more relatable, the gorillas sleep on a "people" bed in a thatched cottage with tables, book shelves and a crib for baby. Gorilla lovers will note that the illustrations show a silverback (male), a female, and a baby, but using the gorillas instead of people lends a feeling of universality to the journey. The huge emotional moments are paired with soft, spattery dreamlike illustrations that expertly capture the raw feelings of these moments.
I recommend this book as a gift for expectant and new parents! I appreciate that it lacks LOVE YOU FOREVER's Lion King-esque circle of life and somewhat sad ending. There are moments of sadness in the book, but the resolution is a celebratory one.
Resources/Activities: Because I think this book is primarily a wonderful gift book for adults, the recommended activities are a bit different today!
- Write a letter to a child in your life to read when they're older, or maybe when they become a parent, telling them about the day they were born, or your hopes and dreams for them (or both, if appropriate)
- If you're lucky enough to have a parent figure still in your life, call or write a thank you.
- List your own current hopes and dreams
- Ask a child about their own dreams for what they want to do or be. Ask how you can help them. NO judgment!
This review is part of PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books. Organized and curated by author Susanna Leonard Hill, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. #PPBF
Note: My review is based on a review copy received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
What a beautiful book to share with kids. It would make a great gift to a new parent. My kids were adopted, but I kept journals from the moment I knew they would enter our lives. So many details I captured that I would have forgotten over time.ReplyDelete
When I used the term "new parents" I envisioned adoptive parents as well! I should have made that clear. It is about imagining our futures and the love and support behind children. Not about genetics.Delete
I loved and reviewed WISH and discussed it in an interview I did with Matthew. I have been wanting to read DREAM, so thanks for this review and reminder.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Joanna! I have so many to be reads that fall through the cracks--WISH is one of those. But now moved to the top and starred. :)Delete
I just added "Dream" to my library list. This was a very nice review of a special book. I love your suggestion to write a letter to a child that they will read when they are older. I started writing letters to my daughter the moment I found out I was pregnant with her. Unfortunately, I stopped writing the letters when she turned three. Maybe, I'll begin again. Thank you for a wonderful book review.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Leslie. I too have let the "memory moments" fall by the wayside as my kids grew. Time for another chapter . . .Delete
Awww, who doesn't love a pair of gorillas reminiscing about their baby? This sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
I even thought this would be a nice book for the parents of a high school or college graduate! Great pick, Wendy!ReplyDelete
What a terrific book for kids who want to know what happened on the day they were born. It makes a great baby shower gift. Empty-nesters would be a great idea (actually Julie's idea above), but a great idea nonetheless. Dream sounds like a beautiful story.ReplyDelete
This sounds like a very special book!ReplyDelete
This is a very special and tender book. Thanks for featuring it.ReplyDelete
I haven't read this one yet, but sounds so sweet!ReplyDelete