________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 17 . . . . April 26, 2002

cover Isaac's Dream Catcher.

Bonnie Farmer. Illustrated by Anouk Perusse-Bell.
Montreal, PQ: Lobster Press, 2001.
32 pp., cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 1-894222-46-6.

Subject Heading:
Dreamcatchers-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 4-6.

Review by Christina Neigel.

*** /4

exerpt:

Isaac rocked back and forth, back and forth, but he still could not fall asleep. "I wish the monster would go away," Isaac whispered.

"Let's catch that monster," said Miss Louise. She opened the cupboard where all the art supplies were kept.

"What are we going to make?" asked Isaac.

"You'll see," answered Miss Louise.

A little boy in Miss Louise's class, Isaac is anxious and sad one day at school. Concerned, Miss Louise kindly prompts Isaac to tell her what the problem is. Isaac had a bad dream involving a frightening monster the night before. Being only four or five years of age, Isaac struggles with the concept of the waking world versus the sleeping world. For him, the monster could be anywhere. The story unfolds to reveal Miss Louise as a warm and compassionate teacher who helps Isaac deal with his fears by making Isaac a dreamcatcher to catch his bad dreams.

internal art

     Bonnie Farmer successfully constructs a vignette with which children can readily identify and in which they can find comfort. Isaac's teacher deals with Isaac's concerns in a very realistic and respectful manner. The text is simple, adding to its appeal. Anouk Perusse-Bell amazingly brilliant imagery, combined with her powerful use of line, create characters that leap from the book. The ethnic diversity of the characters and their exaggerated expressions are not only visually interesting, but they also add significant meaning to the text.

     Considering the book's extensive text and slow pace, the abrupt ending comes as a bit of a surprise. However, Farmer and Perusse-Bell have created a picture book that is worth sharing with any child because of its careful consideration of the subject matter and the compelling illustrations. As an added perk, the back of the book provides readers with simple directions to make dreamcatchers.

Recommended.

Christina Neigel is the Instruction Librarian at the University College of the Cariboo in Kamloops, 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

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