Thursday, June 27, 2019

Board book: Dream Big

Board book: Dream Big. Joyce Wan. 2019. Scholastic. 24 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Dream big, dream high, dream brave dreams.

Premise/plot: This inspirational board book features female trailblazers--dreamers. Each page features a dream-themed inspiration--"dream wild," "dream probabilities" etc. The illustration provides a clue to the trailblazer. Hidden within each illustration is the name of the woman. The last spread gives mini bios for the women included. (Zaha Hadid, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, Valentina Tereshkova, Maya Angelou, Jane Goodall, Florence Griffith Joyner, Eugenie Clark, Frida Kahlo, Ellen Degeneres, Junko Tabei, Rosa Parks, Katherine Johnson, Chien-Shiung Wu, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, and "you.")

My thoughts: If they were really going to end the book with a "YOU" message...perhaps a mirror would have been appropriate?! Just a thought. I didn't dislike this one. I didn't. But I didn't love, love, love it either.

The text can easily be read on its own without bringing up the featured real-life women. The amount of detail you want to bring into the conversation is completely up to you--the parent or guardian. The mini biographies give you just the tiniest bit of information. Not nearly enough to educate parents with those they may be unfamiliar with. Yes, Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, Jane Goodall, Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman may be known well enough to further the discussion. But chances are that some of these trailblazers will be new to you. (I don't know about you, but I am not well-versed in architects, mountain climbers, and nuclear physicists.)

I think these women are worthy of talking about, learning about, etc. I'm just not convinced that toddlers and preschoolers are ready to dig in and learn about history in a meaningful way. (The text is simple enough that it's essentially a non-issue unless you want to add your own commentary to the text.)

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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