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DREAM BIG by Joyce Wan


by Joyce Wan ; illustrated by Joyce Wan

Pub Date: July 9th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-338-33868-3
Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Youngsters meet accomplished women, both historic and contemporary.

Zaha Hadid admires one of her buildings; Amelia Earhart flies an airplane; and Harriet Tubman braves the woods at night. In alternating double- and single-page spreads, prominent women are depicted with oversized, oval heads and toddler-esque bodies along with the activities they are known for. This design choice may both attract and confuse little ones, as the audience is likely to assume these figures are children. The text follows a gentle pattern with the two-word phrases appearing on the single-page spreads and a three-word phrase on the double-page spreads. For the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova, poet/author Maya Angelou, and scientist Jane Goodall, the verse reads: “Dream FAR, / Dream WIDE, // Dream WILD dreams.” However, the name of each featured woman is hard to find, as it hidden in a very small, script type embedded in each illustration. Thankfully, a list of all the women presented appears in the back along with a short description of their accomplishment. The diversity of the women presented is refreshing, as 10 of the 15 figures are people of color. While many of the activities these women engage in will be accessible to toddlers, such as Frida Kahlo’s painting and Florence Griffith Joyner’s running, others may take more explanation from a grown-up, such as the math and science of Katherine Johnson and Chien-Shiung Wu. The final double-page spread encourages children to follow their own dreams in a setting that shows women engaged in a variety of activities.

An empowering package that needs adult intercession.

(Board book. 2-4)