3.17.2017

PPBF: Happy Dreamer

Happy St. Patrick's Day. First, I'm thankful for my Grandma Natzke, whose birthday we celebrate today even though she is no longer with us on earth. I miss her so much. She was such a kind, generous, gentle soul, a beautiful role model for me. I loved going to her house and being with her. She was a dreamer, she was always humming, and I wanted to grow up to be just like her.


Next, I'm excited because my Inspiring Integrity guest post is now live at Free Spirit Press blog; clicking on the image below will take you there. I continue to enjoy and be challenged by assignment writing.


Finally, today marks my return to PPBF and I've got the 
picture-perfect book pick for you, my dear reader.


Title: Happy Dreamer
Author & Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds
Publisher: Orchard Books
Date: March 28, 2017
Suitable for grades: preK - 3rd (and beyond!)
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Themes: Dream big. Be true to yourself. Live happily.
Brief synopsis: This Peter H. Reynolds newcomer bids us dance with this adorable, free-spirited, energetic daydreaming child as he shares his Dream big and be happy mindset, mess and all, with the world.  
Opening thoughts: I am a HAPPY DREAMER. I'm really good at dreaming. Daydreams. BIG DREAMS. Little dreams. Creative Dreams. 

Resources: 
*A Comprehensive Happy Dreamer Teachers Toolkit {here}
*Author's Notes About The Book {here}
*A Kirkus Review {here}
*A podcast with the author about the book {here}
*A Publisher's Weekly Review {here}

Why I like this book: Beside the fact that I'm a huge Peter H. Reynolds fan, the fact that I, like Reynolds himself, might have some undiagnosed ADHD going on, and the fact that I received this beautiful book as a gift from a very special student, I really connect with the passionate dreamer in this child. Our minds often wander off the beaten path, our ideas are ignited by our imaginations, and our dreams make us feel like dancing, even when the world tells us to keep quiet, sit still and pay attention. We hear things differently, sometimes more loudly. We know that being a dreamer is messy (he calls it creative chaos) but we crave doing it anyway. (My favorite line: If you make me, I will put my things away. But then there is less ME to show.) We don't want to just show up, we want to sparkle and create. We embrace who we are because it feeds our emotions and makes us happy. 

This colorful masterpiece left me wanting more, especially after I opened up the double-paged, poster-sized spread in the back which invites its readers to figure out (and name) what kind of dreamers we are, the perfect springboard for a writing or drawing activity. Anyone feel like creating a Vision Board?

Grandma Natzke would have loved Happy Dreamer
Check it out; I think you'll be joyful that you did!

Then visit Susanna Hill's blog for today's other PPBF selections.  






9 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed your thoughts about Peter's recent book! I've been waiting for the release of this gem. It's so important that kids have a dream, it makes all the difference in their lives later on. There was a study done on kids who do and don't dream. Very interesting. Can't wait to receive my copy.

    Hooray! I am thrilled that Free Spirit published your inspiring post on integrity. Love their books. Will you continue to write for them.

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    1. Good morning, Pat, and thank you for stopping by. I'd love to read that study about dreamers. You're gonna love Peter's dreamy new book! I was fortunate to get my copy from that student through our Scholastic Book Fair.

      I am now a regular guest blogger for Free Spirit's Counselor Corner, so watch for my posts every month or so, sometimes more frequently. It's a great honor to be a part of such a fantastic publishing family.

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    2. Your favorite line is also one of my favorites, too. "If you make me, I will put my things away. But then there is less ME to show." This reminds me of my father who rarely put his "toys" away. He always said if he put things away and couldn't see them, he might risk forgetting about them. This book by Peter Reynolds is quite the treasure.

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    3. I love that sweet memory, Leslie. Thank you for sharing it. May there always be a mess in this world from our Happy Dreamers!

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  2. Great recommend - also very much enjoyed your thoughts!

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    1. Thank you, Julie. You can't go wrong with a Peter H. Reynolds book, for sure, but this may very well be my all-time favorite (so far) ... !

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  3. Oo, you have already seen this, lucky you. Love your favorite line. Some picture book authors use humor to include adults in their audience, I think Peter includes adults simply by being profound.

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    1. This one is likely my favorite because it's SO honest, so REAL and it hits so CLOSE to home. Thanks for stopping by, Joanna.

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  4. I love Pete Reynold's books. This one looks amazing. I was especially struck by this line - "If you make me, I will put my things away. But then there is less ME to show" - it so encapsulates the messiness of creativity. Thanks for featuring it.

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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