Entirely pictorial, Dandelion’s Dream is a wonderful exploration of shapes, colour and nature, which sees a dandelion bloom into a dandy lion character, adding life and vibrancy to the black and white world in which he lives. Illustrated by Yoko Tanaka, there is a stunning ethereal and artistic quality to this picture book, which is suitable for three year olds and up.
Having illustrated plenty of children’s books previous, there is a skill here with this particular title, storytelling through a wordless book. With a distinct style, the colour amidst the back and white, it’s impossible for this book to go unnoticed in the picture book world.
The story goes like this: in a meadow filled with dandelion buds just about to flower, one dandelion blooms into a real lion. Roots and leaves unfurl into four tiny paws and a long tail with a fluffy yellow tuft and then it is time for exploring. And what a vast world there is to explore when you have paws instead of roots! There are fast trains to ride, ships to sail, and cities with cinemas to enjoy. But will this real lion ever be content to go back to being grounded and rooted? With this in mind, there are more existential questions that this title unearths.
Imaginative and clever, this is a story that will no doubt stimulate the minds of toddlers. Opening up the opportunity of parent and child to enjoy together, adding the words that are not there, it ampilifies the bonding possibilities. Stunning yet simple, Dandelion’s Dream is a thought-provoking and enjoyable book. The illiustration magically reveals the questions that word play and nature can open up, telling a story that is quite wonderful. With ideas of freedom and exploration being touched upon as well as acknowledging and going back to your “roots” the subtleties through pictorial story-telling is really an admirable effort.
Images courtesy of Walker Books, who have published Dandelion’s Dream by Yoko Tanaka.
Dandelion’s Dream is available now, published by Walker Books.