CM . . . .
Volume VI Number 13 . . . . March 3, 2000
Quite early, before anyone else was awake, Zachary saw that it was going to be an extraordinary Saturday. Two zebras and a huge shaggy dog were drinking from the birdbath. Zachary had been asking his parents for months if he could have a dog like that.The chief character in The Dream Collector is Zachary, a handsome, happy-looking red-headed boy who looks much like one of Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post cover children. But, in reality, the story is based on something the author's son told her - that he slept with his eyes open to see his dreams go by. As if that were not enough notoriety, Zachary's appearance suggested to the illustrators that he very much resembled their grandson. The result is a boy who looks as though he could jump right off the pages he is so real. Troon Harrison already has nine picture books to her credit, among them Aaron's Awful Allergies, Lavender Moon, and Wonderful Junk. Alan and Lea Daniel have illustrated thirty children's books and won several awards.
After having read and reviewed five delightful children's books in paperback, it was rather special to review a hard-covered one complete with dust jacket. This is the kind of book which would make a fine gift for a special child, and it would also stand up well in a school library. Its intriguing account of Zachary's helping an elderly man load the night's dreams on his truck before dawn has the same sort of charm as Santa and his reindeer. The illustrations are colourful, lively, and sensitive to the theme of the tale, convincing the reader that the whole story really could have happened. Enough animals are portrayed to fill a zoo, and Zachary's helpfulness as he dashes about finding tools, a rope and a net to help the Dream Collector interprets perfectly the typical enthusiasm of a young lad reacting to a fantastic adventure.
Joan Payzant is a former teacher-librarian now living in Dartmouth, N.S.
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