Marvelous New Picture Books: Day Dreamers

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For this week’s “Marvelous New Picture Book”, we felt it necessary to review Day Dreamers- A Journey of Imagination written and illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin. The magical cover of this book instantly drew us in, the breathtaking shades of blue and green creating a captivating entrance for the reader. We both are huge fans of the fantasy genre, and the combination of the title and the breathtaking dragon convinced us that this book was worth reading!

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The book focuses around children finding magic within their daily lives.  The book starts with young children riding proudly on imaginary animals, creatures similar to those that exist in The Chronicles of Narnia. Each pages shows average children using their imagination to escape to a world filled with unbelievable creatures and places that only exist in the most creative of minds. The children create mythical animals and adventures from water, the sky, and other average places to visit. A picture in a museum transitions into an elaborate unicorn march, with two young girls riding off into the forest. A boy gazes up at the clouds, and the narrator proposes the idea that the breeze and the clouds are shaped not by nature, but by a mystical dragon. While this book is visually stunning, the main plot is all but detailed. The narrator is simply emphasizing the power of the heart of a child, and how beautiful their imagination is. The rhyming scheme of this book creates a beat that is pleasant to read along with. Overall, we loved reading through this book because it took us back to the magical period in our lives, when childhood took us to a place beyond reality.

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Day Dreamers is full of absolutely breathtaking, beautiful illustrations that juxtapose the ordinary lives of children and the magical world of their imagination.  The end pages are very unique, featuring photo frames with pictures of children doing things ranging from building sand castles to playing baseball to hanging out with a dinosaur.  In the actual story itself, Martin’s flowy and adorable illustrations of dragon-clouds, children flying on squirrels and cats, peering into an underwater kingdom, and riding unicorns are sure to attract children of all ages.  She uses a very minimalistic style of drawing on one page, such as the one of the boy wandering around a museum full of dinosaur bones and two girls skipping past a tapestry of a unicorn on another page, to transition into beautiful and detailed illustrations of the boy flying across a dinosaur filled land on a phoenix and the two girls riding across their kingdom on unicorns, respectively.  As aforementioned, even though the text itself is simple, the illustrations expand on the essence of the words throughout every pages, turning the book into one beautiful and inspiring daydream.

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This book is a perfect introduction to fantasy for preschool aged children. The words are simple and the pictures will keep their attention throughout the entire reading. For older children, the story is still inspiring and will push them to be creative and view the world in a new light. Imagination is a beautiful thing, and a story highlighting it can be appreciated by readers of all ages. Happy reading!

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– Angela and Emily

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