This inspirational picturebook communicates issues about dangers to our wild environment in a way young children can understand. The opening spread shows a child dreaming ‘a special dream about our world’ and introduces the creatures and the land, sea and sky scapes to be explored in the book. The simple lyrical words of Brian Moses are set in Bee Willey’s fine, mixed media collages. It is the detail in the art work which will interest and intrigue young readers. They will enjoy spotting the many animals content in their rain forest habitat where, in the child’s dream, trees are allowed to grow and plants flourish. The palette changes to match the place and atmosphere of each environment – each spread is bound to inspire many thoughts, questions and feelings in young viewers. The picture of the child gazing into the unpolluted stream is full of sunny colours and, in the spread of the elephant and its baby – free from having their ivory stolen- the animals give rides to happy children beneath a bright blue sky. Mysterious dark blues, purples and greens are used on such spreads as those picturing the child camping at night time next to an unpolluted lake. A similar dark palette is used on the final spread which celebrates the earth as it could be- with a smile the child has painted on it together and with a line of some of the creatures we need to protect.
There is huge potential for children’s deep response to the ideas here. The book, which has a ‘It’s Time for Action!’ page at the end, would help begin a discussion about how we can protect our planet. It might be a conversation with a sharing adult or in a small group setting and lead on to committed writing and art work.