Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

I Dreamt...: A Book About Hope

Olmos, Gabriela (Author)
Groundwood Books 2013. 34 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9781554983308 (hardcover)
Original language: Spanish
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

figurative language, layout, multimodal, point of view, stance

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Kidnappers, pistols, soldiers—just part of daily life for many children in the world; this is the unspoken message of this lavishly illustrated free verse poem.

Potent language calls for resistance against the evils of war, with an arsenal that might be found in the imagination of any child: “I dreamt of … drug lords who only sell soap bubbles.” Highly expressive and illustrative type supports this playful attack on society’s mess, while encouraging young reader to engage with the text.

Twelve gifted illustrators contribute their work, for a gorgeous variety of interpretations. The spread “In my dream bombs were bursting out in gales of laughter” shows a funhouse world, where buildings bend with the giggles, falling bombs look like grinning sharks, and a cherubic little soldier plugs her ears with glee. In another, a graphic composition shows the white triangles of a wolf’s teeth, lifting from its jaws and floating away: “danger could be cut into confetti.”

There is tremendous opportunity for discussion in these pages—about art, language, children’s rights and societies in strife. An author’s note discusses conditions in Mexico today, citing them as the inspiration for this book.

  •  In pairs, choose one of the dreamscapes. Discuss the reasons why you chose that particular page. How do the illustrations make you feel? What is it about their message that touched you? 
  •  

    In teams, create your own “I dreamt . . .” page. Take an object (something associated with danger) or an event and transform it into something inspirational.

  •  What message, hope or dream would you like to share with the world? Create a bookmark or postcard celebrating the joys of being a child. 
  •  

    Prior to reading the endnote, discuss the concept of bibliotherapy. Brainstorm events in which children or adults could benefit from it.

  •  This text uses graphic design elements (line, colour, size, shape, texture) along with text that employs opposites (war/flower, nightmare/dream). After a think-aloud strategy has been modeled, practise doing it on your own. This is also useful as an introduction to the response process through the use of open-ended questions and discussion.
  •  With a partner or in a small group, choose a favourite page and discuss the big idea(s) and how the illustrations and text contribute to meaning.
  •  After reading and discussion in whole and small groups, write a response to the text.
  •  

    Discuss the pictures and text as the book is read aloud. Chart the negative and positive situations.

  •  

    As found in the last pages, discuss the analogy of how children are like trees. 

  •  Think of problematic situations in your neighbourhood. Discuss how they could be transformed positively. Make a written list for the class. 
  •  

    In teams, create your own “I dreamt . . .” page. Take an object (something associated with a problem) or an event and transform it into something inspirational.

  •  Before reading, see the endnote about the book’s premise. What do you know about Mexico? What do you think about the idea of bibliotherapy?
  •  Many illustrators are featured in the book. Describe each illustration without looking at the text. What do you notice about the different graphic styles?
  •  Create an “I dreamt” page by transforming a negative situation into something inspirational, using your own words and graphic style.
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To solve problems
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Visual Arts