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One Dragon's Dream    by Peter Pavey order for
One Dragon's Dream
by Peter Pavey
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Thank goodness Candlewick Press decided to reissue this classic counting book for a whole new generation of readers. I'm sure the book is still out there because so many children (now adults) refused to give up this book or pass it on to others. Why? Because it is one of those delightful picture books that challenges the reader to hunt for hidden clues within the illustrations.

Open the book and you are invited into the wonderful, surreal word of a portly dragon who is about to slip into bed. Once he is tucked in with his cat nestled at the foot of the bed, the dragon begins to dream. And, oh, what strange dreams he has. The dragon's dreams are filled with turkeys who tease him, tigers, frogs, cranky kangaroos, stern storks, slippery sea lions, elephants, nimble numbats, and a team of turtles.

The text is very limited, but no matter. The book's appeal lies entirely in the elaborate, detailed illustrations Pavey created and the visual surprises each two page spread contains. Within each spread you'll discover bountiful examples of the featured number. The trick is you have to look very carefully to spot them.

For example, on the three page, not only are there three good sized tigers but also three watering cans, snakes, ladders, apple trees, matches, tombstones, old cars - the list goes on and on.

Although this book is recommended for children three years of age and older, I would think age is not as important as the youngster's ability to deal with all the details found in the illustrations. Since the idea is to find all the examples or combinations of the featured number, the reader must be very observant (as must mom or dad). Of course, you can help the child play the counting game here, provided you can spot all the examples yourself.

A best seller since the late 1970s, One Dragon's Dream is a one-of-a-kind counting book which will enchant children today as much as it did over three decades ago!

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