I Dreamed I Was a Dog
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.)