Dormouse Dreams

illus. by Renata Liwska. 40p. ebook available. Disney-Hyperion. Feb. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781423178743.
PreS-Gr 1—"Deep in the woods, in a pine tree house, curled up in a ball sleeps a little dormouse." Bears aren't the only animals that hibernate, and this dormouse is dreaming of a visit from a friend, and all the things they will do together when she arrives. But soon readers notice that there is a parallel narrative. While the title character appears in more and more adorable sleeping poses (with upturned pink paws and a tiny stuffed bunny) and his dreams appear as springtime wishes, his friend is indeed on her way to him, ferried by a menagerie of forest animals. As winter turns to spring, the dormouse visitor gets closer and the separation between dream and reality a little more difficult for readers to discern, which makes this title better suited for a lapsit than a group read-aloud. Wilson's rhyming couplets have a comforting rhythm. Liwska's full spread pencil drawings, digitally layered with warm color, beg for a close reading; every animal's expression is worth a second look, and her method of building texture is interesting and can be easily imitated.
VERDICT A sweet and tender title for one-on-one sharing either at bedtime or while waiting in anticipation for the season to change.

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