Dream Street by Tricia Elam Walker, illustrated by Ekua Holmes (9780525581109)
Dream Street is a very special street where there is a strong sense of community even though everyone is different and has their own special dreams. Yusef waits for his brother while thinking of his ancestors who were kings and queens. Mr. Sidney sits on the stoop all dressed up every day, even though he’s just reading the newspaper. Belle wants to be a scientist who studies butterflies. Azaria is great at jumping rope and dreams of winning a trophy. Ms. Sarah has lived on Dream Street longer than anyone, her soft voice will tell you stories. Zion loves to spend time at the library. Ede collects odds and ends that others toss away while her cousin writes down what she hears. Dessa Rae has a gorgeous garden where she and her grandbaby sometimes sleep. Ms. Paula dances. Little Benjamin counts the stars. All of children on Dream Street can become whatever they want, cared for by a strong Black community.
Walker based Dream Street on the street that she grew up on. The individual stories of each person on the street stand alone and also form a tapestry of what people’s dreams look like both as a child and also as an adult. It is those critical adult stories amongst the children’s that show what a good life that followed dreams looks like and demonstrates that potential for all of the younger ones as well. The writing here is poetic and lovely, stringing the stories together into a whole that shows how one street, one community can be positive and strong.
Holmes’ illustrations are collages made from papers, fabric and acrylic paint. Filled with vibrant color, patterns, and textures, each image is a portrait of the person being described in that story. They are filled with beautiful Black faces and people, each with their own personality and style.
A book that shows how support from a community help dreams come true. Appropriate for ages 4-8.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Anne Schwartz Books.