cover image The Dreamer

The Dreamer

Il Sung Na. Chronicle, $16.99 (52p) ISBN 978-1-4521-5608-8

Picture books about land animals who want to fly abound, and they often end in failure. In this story by Na (Bird, Balloon, Bear), a mint-green, bird-admiring pig who wants to fly succeeds, eventually. His first flying machine, a sparsely feathered affair, doesn’t work, and his second jettisons him. His friends—a pink elephant, a variety of birds—pore over the pig’s plans and offer suggestions. “So he listened./ And modified./ Momentum built.” His next attempt, a biplane, soars, and so does the rocket that comes after it. Hot air balloons and personal copters soon float among the city buildings as others join in. The pig has created his own zeitgeist, but he continues to be himself—a pig who admires birds. In Na’s visual storytelling, expanses of white space give way to populated spreads as the project progresses, and the interplay of colors (the pig’s indigo pants and scarlet shoes against the gentle background) add drama. The analysis of the pig’s failures, complete with blackboard calculations, contributes to an atmosphere of cool rationality; success requires quiet judgment and hard work, Na suggests. Young aeronauts—and pigs—take note. Ages 3–5. [em](Sept.) [/em]