Dreamland

Dreamland
Noah Klocek
Walker Books

Unlike most young children, Amelie puts up no resistance at bedtime; indeed she loves everything about it – snuggling into her favourite blanket and listening to bedtime stories,

but most of all, she loves to dream.

Her dreams however often prove elusive and she has to search for them.

At this point in the story, (with a nod to Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are) we see a forest growing in her bedroom.
She finds herself in strange landscapes as various items from her room become part of the dreamscape:

is this journey all part of her dreams, is what listeners will wonder.

On Amelie marches taming whatever hides among the shadows,

dancing ‘past the tick and tock of the clock’ as she travels far and wide, through high clouds and deep dark waters until finally sleep embraces her; and a happy sleep it is for she’s ‘found herself in her favourite dreams’.

Dreamily enigmatic is Noah Klocek’s story while his ink and watercolour illustrations chronicle the mysteries of her night-time slumber.

A book for individuals to ponder over as part of their own bedtime routines.

Can You See a Little Bear?

Can You See a Little Bear?
James Mayhew and Jackie Morris
Otter-Barry Books

Stunningly beautiful illustrations by Jackie Morris accompany James Mayhew’s sequence of rhyming statements relating to a variety of animals and a question ‘Can you see a little bear …?’ as we accompany the young polar bear on a fantasy journey.

It takes us through a medieval landscape during which he encounters hot air balloons, entertainers of various kinds, a camel train and a host of exotic creatures including an elephant, musical mice, parrots, peacocks, a walrus, zebras and a whale, beautiful moths, foxes, dolphins and geese.

Little bear engages in activities such as balancing on a ball, and head standing; he tries on items of the performers’ attire

and even participates in a performance.

Then, towards the end of the book into the array comes a big bear carrying a light to guide the little one homewards

for a bath, some tea and then, as he’s drifting into slumbers, bed.

The patterned text and questioning nature of the rhyme serves to draw the listener’s focus into the spectacular scenes, gently guiding attention towards the little bear’s named activity among the wealth of gorgeous detail on each spread. For example ‘Parrots can be green / and parrots can be red, / Can you see a little bear standing on his head?’

Full of mystery and magic and along the way introducing colours, opposites and contrasts: this book was first published over a decade ago. If you missed it then I urge you to get hold of a copy now: it’s sheer, out of this world bedtime enchantment for both child and adult sharer.