Every Dreaming Creature

Little, Brown. Sept. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316512534.
K-Gr 3–Encapsulating the intricate beauty of nature’s interconnectedness, here is an enchanting story that seamlessly blends mesmerizing storytelling with fascinating mixed-media illustrations. A first-person perspective invites readers to be both observers and dreamers. Crafted with a flowing narrative, the story includes a plethora of creatures, beginning and ending with a salamander that symbolizes nature’s resilience. The theme of nature’s connections plays out as the dreams cascade from one animal to another. As an octopus transforms into an elephant that morphs into a soaring falcon, readers witness the biomes of water, land, and air, thus showcasing the delicate balance of the Earth’s diverse ecosystems. When a child with an animal-adorned blanket enters the tale, young readers will likely find a relatable connection, igniting their curiosity and creativity. The remarkable illustrations, created using a combination of paints, colored pencils, and crayons, are a visual joy, augmenting the narrative with innovative details. This versatile picture book can serve as a delightful bedtime story, an engaging introduction to an animal study unit, a catalyst for poetic exploration, or an inspiration for art classes. Its heartfelt message of the intrinsic value of every creature encourages empathy and a sense of responsibility for our planet.
VERDICT A book that enchants, educates, and inspires; this timeless tale has the qualities of a classic in the making. Highly recommended for readers of all ages.

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