________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 15. . . .December 10, 2010


Three Little Dreams: Dream 1 Of Night and of Flight; Dream 2 Of Dragons and Drowse; Dream 3 Of Sleep and of Sheep.

Thomas Aquinas Maguire.
Vancouver, BC: Simply Read Books, 2010.
36 pp., unbound & boxed, $17.95.
ISBN 978-1-894965-79-8.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Natalie Schembri.

** ½ /4


Thomas Aquinas Maguire presents readers with a challenging three-part dream-story to interpret. The three separate dream-tales offer the more advanced reader the opportunity to place words to the visually stimulating and wordless stories to create an individual account of the dream episodes. The dark and muted images of the dream-tales encourage readers to further enlighten the stories with their words. Three Little Dreams invites readers to actively use their imagination to transport themselves into a world where they can curiously accompany the sheep, dragon, and winged-creature on adventures to faraway places.

     Dream 1: Of Night and of Flight follows the action of the winged-creature from its peaceful slumber to its transformative journey into the mysterious night sky. The paper-plane letter that the winged-creature uses to transport itself through the dimly-lit sky is representative of the probing flight readers will take in searching for the words to place alongside this visually mapped story. Maguire empowers readers to engage in a creative storytelling experience.

internal art      Subsequently, Dream 2: Of Dragons and Drowse showcases a little boy who is compelled to follow the dragon from the comfort of his slumber to a dream-like flight into the night. And lastly, Dream 3: Of Sleep and of Sheep involves a little girl's relationship with a sheep that invites her to participate in countless expeditions into dreamland. Maguire provides young readers the chance to discover their creative sides as they become enveloped into the realm of marvellously constructed dream-tale illustrations.

      Three Little Dreams allows children to contribute to the story by adding their own words and visions as to where the dream-tales will imaginatively take them. Maguire's tale is suitable for school and public library programming because it creates a conversation between educators, readers, and the visual text. These three dream-tales give the child primacy of the text through the powers of imagination and the range of interpretation.

      Where words confer meaning in a way that is potentially unwavering, these wordless dream-tales open the door for a child to insert his or her personal voice and embrace the wonders of storytelling.


Natalie Schembri, a Masters student living in London, ON, is a firm believer and promoter of literature and lifelong learning.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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