By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 30, 2010
By Land Wilson (Author), Sue Cornelison (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4-7
Hardcover: 19 pages
Publisher: Little Pickle Press LLC; 1st edition (November 24, 2010)
Awards: Gold Mom’s Choice Award (2011)
Sofia’s Dream was written for the sole purpose of inspiring children to take care of the earth. As a published author, Land Wilson’s life long dream of being an environmental educator to kids is now coming true.
While seeking inspiration for Sofia’s Dream, Wilson was granted the opportunity to interview three Apollo astronauts: Captain Walker M. Schirra, Jr. (Commander of Apollo 7); Frank Borman (Commander of Apollo 8); and Eugene Cernan (Pilot aboard Apollo 10, and Commander of Apollo 17). Wilson said: “These interviews inspired me to use the theme of seeing Earth from space to write a bedtime book for children … .”
“In Space you see how beautiful Earth is with it’s blues[,] white clouds, [and] brownish, pinkish continents. It’s alone in the vastness of space. You see that it’s fragile, and you want its people to be responsible citizens because this is the only world we have.”
~ Frank Borman
“When you can blot out your link to reality with your thumb, it’s overwhelming to be that far away from home. This place represents everything you understand. It represents your family and what you feel.”
~ Eugene Cernan
“From space, you can see pollution on Earth in the form of discolored waters created by people in populated areas. It funnels out into the oceans. And then you see that our ozone layer is no more than an eggshell around Earth you realize that humans had better learn to be more careful with it.”
~ Walter M. Schirra, Jr.
Beginning with the cover image of an angelic young girl soaring high in the sky, her eyes full of hope and untarnished optimism, a magical tone is set for the story. One night, Sofia awakens to the sound of the moon singing out, “Hello down there;” and so begins their beautiful friendship. Gently and adeptly, Wilson uses rhyme to tell of Sofia’s adventures with her new and wise friend. Described in the opening line as “a thoughtful girl,” Sofia had always marveled at the moon. When Moon encourages Sofia to take a giant leap in her sleep and leave Earth behind her while she dreams, a new perspective of Earth is offered and a deep sense of responsibility is cultivated. Wilson’s appreciation for nature and environmental protection shine through in this powerfully uncomplicated picture book.
“The things you do and what you say,
Will make a difference every day.
Aim high with everything you do,
Then you’ll inspire others, too.”
Sue Cornelison’s dreamy illustrations provide a pitch-perfect backdrop for this otherworldly journey. Dark hues are used to depict a polluted environment and represent sadness. Sofia is always illustrated with lighter colors and a brighter intensity—she radiates possibility and promise. Stardust swirls softly across pages, offering a platform from which Sofia may explore outer-space. When Wilson’s text implores Sofia to inspire others to take care of Earth, Cornelison matches the text with a double-page spread showing a multi-cultural group of children doing their part to be responsible citizens—every little face capturing the innocence, enthusiasm and inner-beauty of all children.
It should also be noted that this book is printed using recycled paper and soy inks—kudos to Little Pickle Press—and even the endpapers are adorable.
Whether you are looking for a well illustrated and charming bedtime book or a gentle lesson (but strong message) in caring for our environment, Sofia’s Dream is an absolute delight for children and parents, alike.
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