________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 15 . . . .March 21, 2008

cover

All Aboard for Dreamland.

Melanie Harby. Illustrated by Geraldo Valério.
Vancouver, BC: Tradewind Books (Distributed by Publishers Group Canada), 2007.
32 pp. hardcover, $16.95.
ISBN 978-1-896580-48-7.

Preschool-kindergarten / Ages 2-5.

Review by Devon Greyson.

*** /4

   

excerpt:

All aboard for Dreamland!
Hear the whistle blow.
All aboard for Dreamland!
Hurry up! Hop on! Let’s go!

 

All Aboard for Dreamland is a young child’s colourful and whimsical train ride to bedtime. The storyline carries readers from rollicking rhymes in wiggle-giggle space through physical settling exercises (stretching, yawning) to more subdued language and a quiet cozy ending. It has a nice flow for settling a storytime group or tucking in at night. The train theme is a reliable pleaser for the preschool crowd, and, while "Dreamland" is not exactly a novel concept, in the context of a train passing through Wiggletown, Giggletown, the land of Strrrretch, the town of Yawn, Groggy Grove and Snuggle Cove, Dreamland is a fitting destination.

     As one might expect from a lyricist, the text of All Aboard for Dreamland is in rhyme. A few lines might take a couple of read-throughs to get them to roll off your tongue naturally, but it all works fairly nicely once you’ve gotten acquainted with the rhythms. The action sounds are great (Chuggle-chuggle choo! Yuckity-yuckity yack!), and moments of silliness are speckled throughout the more active earlier portion of the book.

internal art      The multimedia illustrations for this book are large, bright and full of action, cooling in colour when the rollicking tone becomes subdued as well. There is a story-within-a-story implied by the pictures in which toys and dolls come to life to join a child on this lovely ride to dreamland, but this story-within-a-story device is subtle and would likely only come to a child’s attention after multiple reads. The children portrayed in the illustrations are a multicultural group, but Caucasians are always most prominent.

      All Aboard for Dreamland would be a solid addition to a children’s library collection, early childhood classroom, or preschooler’s bookcase. It’s nothing exceptionally new, flashy or innovative, but it is versatile, enjoyable and attractive.

Recommended.

Devon Greyson is a librarian at the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research in Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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