Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

That Is My Dream!

That Is My Dream!

Langston Hughes
Illustrator:  Daniel Miyares 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Random House, 2017   ISBN: 978-0399550171

One day a little African American boy sets off for town on a bus with his mother and sister. They have to sit in the back of the bus, because this is how it is in the segregated world that he lives in. In town he watches as a white boy drinks from the “whites only” water fountain. He has to drinks from the fountain that is labeled “colored only.” Then, as the day fades, they greet the father of the family whose work day has come to an end. The family have a picnic “Beneath a tall tree” as the “night comes on gently.”

As he watches the dark seep across the sky, the little boy dares to dream of the world he wished he lived in, a world where he and the little white boy he saw in town could play together and ride on the backs of birds. Together, the little white boy and his sister, and the little black boy and his sister, would celebrate as the night appears, “coming tenderly.”

This is a powerful interpretation of the poem Dream Variation by Langston Hughes. The illustrator beautifully combines a gorgeously illustrated pictorial narrative with the poet’s words, to give young readers a picture book that is timeless. The book celebrates what could be, and dares to hope of a time when all children can play in a world free of divisions.

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