Tag Archives: Children’s literature

Isol – Nocturne.



Nocturne:  Dream Recipes – Isol (2012, Groundwood Books, Toronto)

I found this curious little black book (complete with built in cardboard stand) in the children’s section of the library I work in.  Created by Argentine author and illustrator Isol, Nocturne has black pages with whimsical glow-in-the-dark drawings.  Each page contains a “dream recipe” and the idea is that you pick a page you want to dream about, charge it up in sunlight during the day, and then set the book on the nightstand when you fall asleep to “inspire” your nocturnal wanderings.  Cute, right?  Uh, maybe not so much…the first page I opened to contained “the dream of the dead singer,” complete with a drawing of a woman weeping and a gentleman smoking a cigarette as they gaze into the coffin containing the grinning body.   The second one I turned to was “the dream of the door that should not be opened.”  Now, if you were a child – or even an adult – with the kind of imagination I have, this one would ensure that you didn’t sleep for weeks.

They’re not all macabre like that, though – there’s “the dream of the cat who smelled the tuna casserole” and “the cozy, warm dream” and “the dream of going far away,” which is the one I set up to try one night.  (I didn’t dream that night…not anything that I can recall, anyway).

While I’m thinking this book is a little too scary for (some) kids – and me!  –  I can suggest another excellent use for it:  if you’re a writer, you could treat it like a series of writing prompts for those days when you’re a little stuck.  Could be fun!

Kevin Sheehan and Rob Dunlavey – The Dandelion’s Tale.




The Dandelion’s Tale – Kevin Sheehan and Rob Dunlavey (2014, Schwartz & Wade Books, New York)

Working in a library means I get to see and handle a lot of books…and some of my very favourites come from the children’s section. You don’t need to be a child to delight in the illustrations and stories of the great picture books I’ve come across recently…and The Dandelion’s Tale is at the very top of the heap for me. This sweet little tale of a dandelion gone to seed and her wish to leave her mark on the world quite frankly brought a little tear to my eye – it’s just that touching. The illustrations by Rob Dunlavey are soft and lush, and perfectly match Kevin Sheehan’s gentle story.