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The Picture Book Buzz

If I Had A Little Dream - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Trecking trough a blustery, torrentially rainy day, I fought my way to Nina Laden's book launch. After I dried out, it was a lot of fun. Surrounded by family, neighbors, and friends, Nina shared the origin and journey of this beautiful book. How it started with a song she sang around the house. And she hinted at a future picture book project with debut illustrator Melissa Castrillon.

If I Had A Little Dream

Author: Nina Laden

Illustrator: Melissa Castrillon

Publisher: Paula Wiseman, Simon Schuster (2017)

Ages 4-8



Dreams, poetry, possibilities surround us.

Synopsis (From Barnes & Noble):

Nina Laden’s warm and lyrical picture book sees and appreciates through a child’s eyes how fortunate we are to live in the world we do.

Celebrate the wonder of the world in this reassuring picture book about the joy, love, and beauty that is part of each and every day. Our world is full of possibilities if you look for them.

Opening Lines:

If I had a little land,

I would name it There.

There would be my home, be it stormy be it fair.

If I had a little house,

I would name it Love.

Love would make me happy and protect me like a glove.

Why I like this book:

I adore the the line - "If I had a little book, I would name if Friend. Friend would go wherever I went, our story would never end." This is how I feel about many books. They take you on an escape, when you need one, or provide comfort, when life seems excessively cruel. Or take you on an adventure, when the routine and monotony overwhelm. Through a child's song, Nina explores the world, pets, siblings, and love.

Melissa's illustration are tender, dream-like, and reminiscent of Dr. Seuss. They are both realistic and fantastical at the same time, perfect for a dreamy picture book. I look forward to seeing more from this debut illustrator.

Related Activities:

- explore with a child "I YOU had a dream, what would it be?" Coloring sheets from Simon Schuster.

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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