I Dreamed I Was a Dog

Joel Nakamura. Leaf Storm (PGW, dist.), $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-9456529-0-5
Using a Schopenhauer quotation as inspiration and epigraph (“The universe is a dream dreamed by a single dreamer where all the dream characters dream too”), Nakamura languidly traces a boy’s ever-evolving dream. The boy begins the night as a “dog with red fur and purple spots, chewing on a giant bone,” but soon transforms into a dinosaur (the red dog is now cast in a best friend role), train, cloud, and more. Nakamura uses the same folk art–inflected style seen in 2015’s Go West!, and his vivid acrylic paintings are tattooed with dots and patterns that bring an almost psychedelic energy to the pages. When the dream turns extraterrestrial, the boy turns into a flying saucer, piloted by the same red dog; clouds, bones, and birds can be seen amid the circuitlike panels on its gleaming exterior, harking back to the boy’s earlier incarnations. Most readers already have a sense of the unpredictable malleability of dreams, an idea Nakamura evocatively explores while emphasizing connections between humans, nature, and the larger cosmos. Ages 3–7. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/25/2017
Release date: 11/01/2017
Hardcover - 978-0-8118-2081-3
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