A magical and uplifting picture book that explores the bond between a father and son. Joe longs to find a way to reach the stars even when his ‘pals’ berate him for such lofty dreams. His father, however, listens thoughtfully and actively engages in play and imagination, nurturing a relationship that is heartwarming and inspiring.
Almond’s sparse, rhythmic tone, allows the freedom and space for Smith to paint a rich, diverse cast and environment. Implicitly, the story portrays the father as a primary caregiver, a depiction that exudes tenderness and closeness. This portrayal is not only welcoming but also affirming, breaking away from traditional stereotypes.
At the core of the tale lies the beautiful relationship between father and son, expertly crafted through dialogues that capture the shared dreams and intimacy between them. Smith’s watercolours burst with vivid energy, depicting both characters building dreams from cardboard and or sharing joyous moments side by side. The whimsical exploration of reaching the stars unfolds through a series of inventive and humorous ideas, showcasing the creative companionship shared by father and son.
Almond and Smith come together to tell a story that encourages families to work and play together, emphasising the importance of shared experiences: a poignant reminder for readers in days when work and technology can separate and a theme that Almond has explored in earlier work too. The picturebook serves as a poignant reminder of the significance of shared experiences, particularly in an era where work and technology often threaten to create divides. In a world where connections are increasingly digital, this story’ serves as a reminder that the strongest bonds are formed through shared dreams, play, and the simple joy of being together.