A Perfect Season for Dreaming / Un tiempo perfecto para sonar

A Perfect Season for Dreaming / Un tiempo perfecto para sonar

by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Esau Andrade Valencia
     
 

“[Children] will respond to Sáenz's elemental warmth and rhythmic storytelling.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Young readers will enjoy its structure, numbers and playful dreams, while more sophisticated readers—and even adults—will find reasons to return to it again and again.”—Kirkus Reviews,

Overview

“[Children] will respond to Sáenz's elemental warmth and rhythmic storytelling.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Young readers will enjoy its structure, numbers and playful dreams, while more sophisticated readers—and even adults—will find reasons to return to it again and again.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Seventy-eight-year-old Octavio Rivera looks forward to the beautiful dreams that visit during his afternoon siesta. If only he could share them with someone. But his brother would think he is getting old. And his friends would think he ate too many gorditas. Oh, but his granddaughter Regina. She will understand!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"While a counting book in concept, Sáenz’s text is layered with multiple meanings … Young readers will enjoy its structure, numbers and playful dreams, while more sophisticated readers—and even adults—will find reasons to return to it again and again." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Valencia gives these visions an odd and wonderful dignity…Children who require stories with defined contours may find the flood of images off-putting; others will respond to Sáenz's elemental warmth and rhythmic storytelling." —Publisher's Weekly, starred review

"Told with poetic text and colorful, full-page acrylic illustrations filled with surreal imagery, this is an attractive bilingual title. Particularly moving is the special connection between the old man and the child. Recommended for all libraries and bookstores." —Criticas

"The traditional artwork is a fitting complement to Saenz’ folktale-like prose. Just like Regina, young readers will marvel at the beauty, richness, and unpredictable qualities of Octavio’s dreams. Readers of all ages will appreciate the sincere affection between grandfather and grandchild in this intergenerational story. A perfect book for sharing aloud." —ForeWord Magazine

"This is a wonderful book for people of all ages; both parents and children will enjoy the creative story and beautiful illustrations." —Oneota Reading Journal

"A pleasant read that leaves the reader feeling as if they have just woken from their own peaceful afternoon slumber." —El Paso Scene

Publishers Weekly

Sáenz's (He Forgot to Say Goodbye) haunting work, presented in English and Spanish, is part short story, part fable. Octavio Rivera, an elegant, white-haired grandfather, experiences an astonishing series of dreams that grow more complex each night: "...five coyotes dressed in mariachi outfits [were] falling out of a piñata and the coyotes were escaping from Tencha's Café on Alameda...." Valencia gives these visions an odd and wonderful dignity; his folk art illustrations lie somewhere between Frida Kahlo and Grant Wood. Octavio longs to share his dreams, but can't tell anyone-"My best friend Joe would tell me that I had indigestion and that I should stay away from eating gorditas"-then realizes that his beloved six-year-old granddaughter will understand. "You are the most beautiful dreamer in the world, Tata Tabo!" she exclaims. Children who require stories with defined contours may find the flood of images off-putting; others will respond to Sáenz's elemental warmth and rhythmic storytelling. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)

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Criticas

Gr 1-3

Octavio Rivera is a dreamer. He snoozes under a tree on the first summer afternoon, and dreams of a guitar falling from a piñata. On the second afternoon, while napping on the grass, he dreams of two giant turtles falling from the piñata. As his dreams continue, he suddenly gets the urge to tell someone about them, but he can't decide who. The urge gets stronger as the days go by, and on the eighth day, after dreaming of four girls and four boys falling from the piñata, he realizes that he can talk to his granddaughter. He takes her to the park and reveals all the things he has dreamed of. Told with poetic text and colorful, full-page acrylic illustrations filled with surreal imagery, this is an attractive bilingual title. Particularly moving is the special connection between the old man and the child. Recommended for all libraries and bookstores.-Roxanne Landin, Fremont Area District Library, Fremont, MI

Children's Literature - Rosa Roberts
Who will Octavio Rivera tell about the wonderful dreams he has been having every summer afternoon? After all, he is 78 years old and what will their reaction be? Should he tell his son, daughter-in-law, brother, best friend, or his granddaughter? Throughout the nine dream sessions, Octavio experiences, sees, and encounters many different things fall out of a pinata. Turtles, pears blooming into cacti, magical shirts, and boys and girls are among the many things he wants to share with someone. How can he keep these splendid encounters to himself? Octavio does confide in the one person who could relate to his dreams, his granddaughter. In this poignant bilingual story this elderly man exemplifies that one is never too old to imagine or dream all season long. The accompanying illustrations are exquisite and lend themselves to accompanying bilingual text. The dual languages are music to the ears and simplistically laid out for English and Spanish readers. Readers will breathe a sigh of relief that Octavio is able to share, confide, and let us join him in his dream world. This book is a wonderful read for young bilingual readers. Reviewer: Rosa Roberts
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3

During his 78th summer, Octavio Rivera begins to have the most fantastic dreams of his life. As they grow in intensity and whimsy, so grows his desire to share these visions. Of course, the only person who understands them is his imaginative six-year-old granddaughter. The English and Spanish texts allow children, families, and teachers to share this charming tale in either or both languages. The story's rhythmic, repetitive structure makes it an excellent read-aloud. For example, "On that first afternoon of summer, Octavio Rivera dreamed a Spanish guitar falling out of a piñata...whispering songs of love to a sky filled with perfect stars." "On the second afternoon of summer, Octavio Rivera dreamed two giant turtles falling out of a piñata...." Children will learn to count to 10 in both English and Spanish as they listen, which gives the story additional educational value. Meanwhile, Valencia's bright oil paintings evoke the joy of dreams and imagination. The luminous quality of his art underscores this delight and brings to mind the bright, sun-drenched light of the Southwest. The words and images also collaborate to celebrate many facets of Latino culture, from guitars and piñatas to close intergenerational relationships. While this is an excellent choice for libraries with large Spanish-speaking populations, children of all backgrounds will enjoy it.-Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY

Kirkus Reviews
One cloudless summer, 78-year-old Octavio Rivera's afternoon naps lead to a series of fantastical dreams. On the first day of the season, a single guitar "whispering songs of love" bursts through a star-shaped pi-ata, and on the second day, two kissing turtles float across a blue sky. With each passing day, the items delivered by the pi-ata grow in both number and whimsy; as his dreams surround and fill him up, Octavio feels a growing need to share his dreams; but with whom? Saenz's treatment of reality and his rich, sensory-filled imagery evokes Garc'a Marquez, while Andrade Valencia's illustrations, done in a brilliant southwestern palette, employ flat perspectives and surrealist compositions to create a visual fusion of folk art and Magritte. One lovely wordless spread finds Octavio revealing his dreams to his granddaughter Regina, and in so doing, Octavio also shares himself. While a counting book in concept, Saenz's text is layered with multiple meanings. Young readers will enjoy its structure, numbers and playful dreams, while more sophisticated readers-and even adults-will find reasons to return to it again and again. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933693620
Publisher:
Cinco Puntos Press
Publication date:
08/31/2010
Edition description:
Bilingual
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
1,195,358
Product dimensions:
8.52(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.21(d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Meet the Author


BENJAMIN ALIRE SÁENZ was born in his grandmother's house in Picacho, New Mexico--on the outskirts of Las Cruces, New Mexico where Juliana in Hollywood is set. He was the fourth of seven children and was brought up in a traditional Mexican-American Catholic family. His family spoke mostly Spanish at home, and it was only through his education in the public schools that he learned to speak and write in English. He entered the seminary in 1972, a decision that was as much political as it was religious: he was heavily influenced by such Catholic thinkers as Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, César Chavez and the Berrigan brothers. After concluding his theological studies at the University of Louvain, he was ordained a Catholic priest. Three and a half years later, he left the priesthood. At the age of 30, he entered the Creative Writing Program at the University of Texas at El Paso. He later received a fellowship at the University of Iowa, and in 1988, he received a Wallace E. Stegner Fellowship in poetry from Stanford University. In 1993 he returned to the border to teach in the Bilingual MFA program at the University of Texas at El Paso. His most recent book of poetry, Elegies in Blue, was published by Cinco Puntos Press in 2002. This is his first book for young adults.

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