A dream mouse pulling a cart full of poetically sweet dreams rolls slowly through a peaceful, Latvian village and finally arrives at the cottage of a sleeping child. Beautiful, realistic paintings blend perfectly with a text that manages to soothe the spirit while still inspiring the imagination. Even the adult reader might be eager to settle into bed, hoping for dreams "of the river singing to itself, ringing against the stones, sifting silver." The book celebrates both the wonders of nature as well as the power of the human mind. A brief author's note provides background information on ancient Latvian folk songs and the music for a short lullaby.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-A lyrical picture book, based upon ideas and images taken from a collection of ancient Latvian folk songs. With his wooden cart loaded with sleep, the Dream Mouse drives through the village each night, passing out wonderful dreams to the waiting children. The spare, poetic text does a good job of evoking the mysteries of dreams and sleep. The book's origins add an interesting dimension to the conventional lullaby genre. Mitchell's paintings, done in what appears to be acrylics, produce the soft, fanciful images that Esbensen's words demand and make dramatic use of light and dark. Overall, a highly effective bedtime read-aloud.-Denise Anton Wright, Illinois State University, Normal
Janice Del Negro
Based on the "dianas", a form of ancient Latvian folk song, this lullaby is about the Dream Mouse and the dreams and sleep he brings to wakeful children. Traveling with his cart, the mouse goes from house to house, leaving dreams in his wake. The dreams, written images culled from 150 "dianas", are pictured in Mitchell's fantastical illustrations, and the lulling, loving combination of words and pictures is tied together by the mouse's travels. A softly colored painting of a sleeping child surrounded by sweet dreams is at the end of the mouse's journey.