That Is My Dream! A Picture Book of Langston Hughes’s “Dream Variation”

Langston Hughes, illus. by Daniel Miyares. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-55017-1
With luminous washes of watercolor and the lyrical language of Hughes’s 1924 poem as his text, Miyares (That Neighbor Kid) presents a resonant vision of an African-American boy who imagines a more just world. Feeling rambunctious (“To fling my arms wide”), the boy boards a bus with his mother and sister to meet his father, a factory worker, for a picnic dinner. As the verse continues—“In some place of the sun/ To whirl and to dance/ Till the white day is done”—Miyares reveals that the boy lives in the segregated South. Unlike the white family who crosses his path, the boy and his family must sit in the back of the bus and drink from the “Colored Only” water fountain. But in the soft beauty of twilight (“Dark like me”), the boy dreams away these false barriers: Miyares shows black and white children together, magically soaring on giant birds, and (more pointedly) drinking from the same stream. As the stars come out, the reverie ends, but it’s clear that the boy has gained a measure of hope and a reaffirmed sense of his identity. All ages. Illustrator’s agency: Studio Goodwin Sturges. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/21/2017
Release date: 10/03/2017
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-399-55018-8
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