cover image A Perfect Season for Dreaming/ Un tiempo perfecto para soar

A Perfect Season for Dreaming/ Un tiempo perfecto para soar

Benjamin Alire Saenz, Benjamin Alire Senz, , illus. by Esau Andrade Valencia. . Cinco Puntos, $17.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-933693-01-9

Sáenz's (He Forgot to Say Goodbye ) haunting work, presented in English and Spanish, is part short story, part fable. Octavio Rivera, an elegant, white-haired grandfather, experiences an astonishing series of dreams that grow more complex each night: “...five coyotes dressed in mariachi outfits [were] falling out of a piñata and the coyotes were escaping from Tencha's Café on Alameda....” Valencia gives these visions an odd and wonderful dignity; his folk art illustrations lie somewhere between Frida Kahlo and Grant Wood. Octavio longs to share his dreams, but can't tell anyone—“My best friend Joe would tell me that I had indigestion and that I should stay away from eating gorditas”—then realizes that his beloved six-year-old granddaughter will understand. “You are the most beautiful dreamer in the world, Tata Tabo!” she exclaims. Children who require stories with defined contours may find the flood of images off-putting; others will respond to Sáenz's elemental warmth and rhythmic storytelling. Ages 6–10. (Sept.)