A tender, transcendent, and meticulously crafted novel from Newbery Honoree, Pam Muñoz Ryan, and three-time Caldecott Honoree, Peter Sís!
From the time he is a young boy, Neftalí hears the call of a mysterious voice. Even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself, Neftalí knows he cannot ignore the call. He listens and follows as it leads him under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain on an inspiring voyage of self-discovery that will transform his life and, ultimately, the world.
Combining elements of magical realism with biography, poetry, literary fiction, and transporting illustrations, Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sís take readers on a rare journey of the heart and imagination as they explore the inspiring early life of the poet who became Pablo Neruda.
Pam Muñoz Ryan is the recipient of the Newbery Honor Medal and the Kirkus Prize for her New York Times bestselling novel, Echo, as well as the NEA’s Human and Civil Rights Award and the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for multicultural literature for her body of work. She has written more than thirty books for young readers. Her celebrated novels, Echo, Esperanza Rising, The Dreamer, Riding Freedom, Becoming Naomi Léon, and Paint the Wind, have received countless accolades, among them two Pura Belpré Awards, a NAPPA Gold Award, a Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and two Americas Awards. Her acclaimed picture books include Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride and When Marian Sang, both illustrated by Brian Selznick, and Tony Baloney, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham, as well as a beginning reader series featuring Tony Baloney. Ryan lives near San Diego, CA with her family.
Peter Sís is a Hans Christian Anderson Award winner, a three-time Caldecott Honoree, a Sibert Award winner, and a MacArthur Fellow. He is the illustrator of Pam Muñoz Ryan's The Dreamer, a Pura Belpré Award winner, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, and an ALA Notable. Sís's many celebrated picture books, including Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei, Tibet Through the Red Box, and The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, are treasured by readers all over the world. His most recent picture book, Ice Cream Summer, was hailed by Kirkus Reviews in a starred review as “an encomium to summer, to the power of learning, and to that beloved, creamy-cold treat.” When Peter isn’t traveling the globe eating ice cream, he creates picture books and fine art that can be seen in galleries, museums, and public spaces from New York to Los Angeles, London to Prague, and lots of cities in between. Visit Peter online and learn more about his award-winning books at www.petersis.com.
Dreamer 4.3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
I have just discovered a talented author-Pam Munoz Ryan. Her simple yet powerful way of conveying the story about Neftalí, a young uncommon boy who sees the world in a unique and magical way, touched me deeply. Based on the biography of Pablo Neruda, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, this book is inspiring. I thoroughly enjoyed Ryan's beautiful poetic writing that stirred my imagination to the point where I was soaring with Neftalí in the blue sky, running with him in the lush Chilean forest, feeling the mist of the tangy seawater on my face, and smelling the earthy scent of the outdoors after a summer rainfall.
Neftalí, a child who is a poet and humanitarian at heart, gentle and kind, but sickly thin and shy has to suffer the cruel ridicule of his authoritarian father who wants to break his soft spirit and make a strong man out of him. Fortunately, he has a loving stepmother and an Uncle who unwittingly feeds his eager soul, and he grows to become a determined influential writer with no ill will toward his father.
I loved this character. He reminded me in so many ways of my own son. His strength of character and determination to nurture his love for words and to use his gift for the good of mankind is inspirational. Ryan ends each chapter with a thought-provoking question such as, What wisdom does the eagle whisper to those who are learning to fly? These string of words left so innocently on a page with a black and white illustration reflected what the chapter itself conveyed and always left me thinking hard.
My only regret is that I did not read this book together with my 9 year-old daughter to get her impressions and to share with her this touching and stirring tale.
More than 1 year ago
Like most books this author writes, pulls the reader into the story. You can feel how the main character, Neftali Reyes, reacts when his abusive father speaks towards him, or says he should stop day dreaming and think about real jobs for his future. Neftali is a talented writer, but is unable to pursue his dreams, or is he? Read this very realistic novel and find out if his father allows him to dream.
More than 1 year ago
Neftali Reyes is quite the dreamer. He is easily distracted by old boots, unusual umbrellas, or odd-shaped objects. With a stutter that sometimes gets in the way of expressing himself verbally, Neftali starts writing. His father wants him to get his head out of the clouds and become something sensible, like a doctor, a dentist, or a lawyer. Can Neftali find a way to get his father to accept him for who he is? Will he hold true to what he holds dear? A touching, quick fictionalized biography based on the childhood of Pablo Neruda (born Neftali Reyes). The characters seem believable, and the story is inspirational and does a great job of helping readers relate to Neftali, who grew up to be a Nobel Prize-winning poet. Those who like historical fiction, biographies, and stories about writers' childhoods will enjoy reading THE DREAMER.
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