Skip to main content

Dormouse Dreams by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Renata Liwska

In Dormouse Dreams, Karma Wilson's superbly rhyming story is perfectly paired with Renata Liwska's richly detailed, gently magical illustrations. The story of Dormouse Dreams begins before the text when, on the dedication page, we see a dormouse in pink pearls and a pink pillbox hat getting help closing a suitcase. The narrative begins with a dormouse curled up in his "dry leaf bed," dreaming about the return of spring and his friend, then alternates between the winter world outside, the dormouse sleeping inside and the imagined arrival of a new season and an old friend. Liwska's illustrations follow this pattern, with the added treat that readers get to see the dormouse's friend as she makes her way to her friend's house.

From his cozy corner, the dormouse dreams of seeing his friend again, of the day when they can "play hide-and-seek in the tall green grass by the whispering creek." He doesn't, "hear the creaking as the ice breaks free. He doesn't hear the chirping of the birds in the trees." Outside, so much is going on. A fox is part of a cross-country-skiing biathlon, shooting an arrow then racing to cross the finish line. The dormouse in pearls clings to a biplane as friends help her get closer to her destination.

Their happy reunion is followed by a walk through the newly thawed world where they see the animals who helped the dormouse in pearls reach her destination. The final words and image of Dormouse Dreams are as sweet and cozy as the first - now both mice are curled in the dry leaf bed, their tails making a heart. Wilson's words are a joy to read out loud and Liwska's illustrations are a treat to pore over again and again.

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…