Also available in the Spanish Edition: El Soñador
by Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter Sis, published 2010
“He peeked out… and saw that the wind had also possessed his mittens. They looked like ghostly hands waving good-bye in the Chilean sky. Where were they headed? Whose hands would they cover next? ..’Where is the storehouse of lost and found?'”
As I put this exquisite children’s book down, I wiped my eyes, and marveled at the quick journey I had just taken into the heart and mind of Pablo Neruda. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with the desire to read everything he had written – poetry, prose, essays, his biography. In just one simple children’s book, I felt I had touched the genius and heart of this astounding man who I had not previously appreciated. And that is the brilliance and beauty of The Dreamer.
Whether you are young or old, from Chile or the USA or anywhere else, whether you love poetry or not, it is impossible not to be totally inspired by this fictional telling of Neruda’s childhood. It is as if we see exactly how a piece of coal becomes a diamond… by the pressure that is put upon it. And yet, reading this version of Neruda, it appears that in fact, he was never a piece of coal… his mind was a diamond of words and images right form the start.
I discovered the author from another children’s book I had just read, Echo, and I’m glad I followed up to find her other works. This is probably for 8 years old and up, and the beauty of the language would make it a wonderful read-aloud. (And by the way, your children are never too old to be read aloud to. It actually is beneficial to keep it up!)
Nothing more to add, except the hard-back version of this children’s book has delightful illustrations to go along with the poetry and language. This is a must for any library or homeschooling collection as well.