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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I dreamt...a book about hope. By Gabriela Olmos. A Groundwood Book, 2013. $18.95 ages 7 and up

"I dreamt
that wars are
always fought with
and that SOLDIERS
prefer shadowboxing
to shooting
at each other."

Life in many countries today is a harrowing experience. From the floods in Alberta to the lasting effects of last month's tornadoes...and beyond  our towns and cities, children and their families are uprooted and face an unknown future. This book was first published in Mexico, a country held in the grip of a brutal and ferocious war against drugs. It is ongoing and does not promise to end soon. Children live in fear, and know far too much about upheaval and unpredictability.

As the author dreams of a different world for so many children, she writes with hope for their future. 
Twelve Mexican illustrators add their interpretations of the sentiments of the author as she describes that world. These brilliant artists donated their works so that sales of the book might benefit the IBBY's Fund for Children in Crisis. Each piece of art is very different from the next, and introduces us to artists whose work we may not have encountered. It is a picture book that will inspire and awe its readers.

"And I dreamt that robbers are good for stealing nightmares...
while jokes are the best way to drive a kidnapper away."

While children are sure to recognize the improbability of the dreams, there is hope in the thinking. It would be interesting to see what the young might dream in terms of sad and hurtful times.  For those children who are victims of war and dangerous times it might be just the impetus to start a conversation.

Beautifully imagined!

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