Review of The Dream Train: Poems for Bedtime

The Dream Train: Poems for Bedtime The Dream Train: Poems for Bedtime
by Sean Taylor; illus. by Anuska Allepuz
Preschool    Candlewick    88 pp.
3/23    9781536228342    $19.99

British poet Taylor sends little ones to bed with thirty imaginative poems in three thematic sets: “Night Arrives,” “Shut-Your-Eyes Time,” and “Dream Wheels Turning.” With a mix of rhyming and free-verse poetry, along with frequent, satisfying repetition, Taylor offers selections to read aloud and read together. Each poem appears on a double-page spread featuring bold mixed-media illustrations by Allepuz. Her use of vivid color fills the space, with many shades of blue and purple, perfect for nighttime scenes. Angular animals and round children populate the pages with whimsy and purpose, giving each piece focus and specificity. Most young listeners will likely choose favorites to hear repeatedly—perhaps the reassuring “Everyone,” or the thought-provoking “Asked by a Pillow,” or the list-like “The Middle of the Night,” or the silly “Cave Bear’s Snore”—rather than experience the poetry from cover-to-cover in linear fashion.

From the March/April 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Sylvia Vardell

Sylvia Vardell is a professor in the School of Library & Information Studies at Texas Woman’s University and author of Children’s Literature in Action, Poetry Aloud Here, A World Full of Poems and the Poetry for Children blog.

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