Sunday, August 12, 2018

When the world is dreaming by Rita Gray pictures by Kenard Pak

What does Little Deer dream
at the end of the day?
After the walking,
the grazing, the play.
In a bed of feathery ferns
beside her twin, she gently turns.
What does Little Deer dream?
Rushing rain from a rumbling cloud,
the sky is flashing; the sky is loud!
But tucked beneath our mushroom cap,
we're safe from every thunderclap.
Sleep, Little Deer,
safe and warm.
Dream until the light of morn.

This exquisite lyrical text asks this same question of Little Snake, Little Newt, Little Rabbit, Little Mouse, Little Turtle and Little Dreamer. You can see them on the cover. Each set of pages end with the refrain "Sleep Little ____, safe and warm. Dream until the light of morn."  I long for someone to set this lullaby to music. Changing colour and font also adds the dimension of another voice to this text - the voice of the dream itself.  Here is the dream of the snake:

Catching the wind, the kite sets sail;
and trailing behind, I am the tail!
Soaring above the tallest trees,
I dip and ripple in the breeze.

A perfect picture book is a marriage of art and words. The art in When the World is Dreaming is an example of this perfection.

Add this title to your list. It would be a beautiful gift for a young child and one that will be treasured. Read this review. Another reviewer uses the words ethereal and dreamy which seem the perfect description. Kenard Pak has collaborated on other books with Rita Gray - Have you heard the Nesting Bird? and Flowers are calling.

I recently saw a book written and illustrated by Kennard Pak and fell in love with his art and now I discover Kenard did the cover for The Poet's Dog which is a book I adored. These connections make me so happy. Here are two other books illustrated by Kenard Pak.

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