Ready to Dream by Donna Jo Napoli and Elena Furrrow, illustrated by Bronwyn Bancroft.
Ally and her mother take a trip to Australia together. Ally carries her backpack filled with art supplies, drawing all that she sees. At Alice Springs, she meets Pauline, an older Aboriginal woman who is also an artist. Throughout the month she is there, Ally shares her art with Pauline. Pauline notices small touches that Ally considers mistakes or accidents. Pauline shows her how each of these ties into the nature of what she is drawing, more fully expressing it. As the month progresses, Ally takes more risks with her art, looking for media that will really explore the essence of what she is trying to capture.
I am a fan of books that get children thinking about art, media and expressing themselves in that way. This book takes it one more level by having Aboriginal artist, Bronwyn Bancroft do the illustrations. Her art lifts this book to another level, making it mystical, sensual and eye-opening. Napoli and her daughter, Furrow, have captured that same feeling of freedom and expansiveness in their words that is represented in the illustrations.
Share this book with art teachers, artists and others who will appreciate its take on creativity and connectivity. Recommended for children ages 5-8.