Dream Big, by Joyce Wan | Book Review
The Children’s Book Review | April 26, 2020
Written and Illustrated by Joyce Wan
Age Range: 0-3
Board Book: 24 pages
Publisher: Cartwheel Books, Scholastic
What to expect: Inspirational board book
Inspiration makes a splash in this delightfully colorful board book!
Thick, oversized pages present small children with beautiful renderings of some of history’s most influential women. Architect Zaha Hadid’s adorable cartoon caricature admires a bold, modern building. Amelia Earhart flies over chubby clouds and sweet little houses, and Maya Angelou writes on a comfy pink chair in front of colorful cartoon books. Page after page reminds children to be bold, brave, and vibrant. To follow their dreams, dream of possibilities like mathematician Katherine Johnson, and find ways to change the world with their minds and hands.
The illustrations are simple and colorful, with a few words of inspiration. The pictures are perfect for young children, and the names inscribed in each page name the hero reimagined in the story. Each name corresponds to a little biography in the back that explains why each woman was so influential and helped to change the world in her own way. A fantastic jumping-off point for older toddlers to broader discussions, the biographies are short and sweet with the potential to spark imaginations. Perhaps the most striking image, however, is Rosa Parks, in a two-page spread, telling the bus driver, “No,” she will not move to the back of the bus. Poignant and inspirational, and exceptionally well done.
Author and illustrator Joyce Wan has created many other beloved books, and her signature bright and straightforward style is executed well here. The fun cover has texture and foil accents to attract even the smallest hands. Wonderfully pitched to the toddler set, this inspirational board book is a perfect gift for a new baby or young child.
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About the Author-Illustrator
Joyce Wan runs her own stationery and gift business, Wanart, which sells products in thousands of boutiques, museum shops, and gift stores worldwide. She is also the author and illustrator of many children’s books, including You Are My Cupcake, We Belong Together, Are You My Mommy?, and Peek-a-Boo Farm. Joyce lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, but you can visit her at wanart.com.
Dream Big, by Joyce Wan, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like Dream Big by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Board Book, Dream Big Books, Inspirational Books, Inspirational Figures, Joyce Wan, and Women’s History.
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