Review Blog

Sep 14 2020

Puffin book of big dreams - stories to spark your imagination

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Penguin, 2020. ISBN: 9780241438206. 409p.
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. A week-long festival surrounded the launch of this book in the UK to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of Puffin in publishing. In June 2020, #PuffinDreamer invited the faithful to live-streamed author readings and writing activities on social media.
Puffin's hardback tome compiles excerpts about dreams or aspirations from the most lauded books published since 1940, under the little bird's brand. Many short stories, reflections and poems by contemporary writers and children, link the anthology to the present and the future. Allegories like, King of the World by Charlie Higson and Doris the Chicken who Saved the World written and illustrated by Mini Grey, bolster dreams beyond personal ambition and reference popular culture to envisage a better world.
Ballet Shoes and The Borrowers represent some of the timeless classics, and we are delighted anew with the anthropomorphism of Charlotte's Web and the Sheep-Pig. Our imaginations continue to soar with the BFG and Truckers and we remain touched by the profundity of Stig (of the Dump) or Wonder by R.J. Palacio.
Puffin's prophets are assembled in a mighty tribute, not only as a legacy but to show tomorrow's children the importance of reading, writing and dreaming, to enrich our lives. The piece most indicative of the spirit of this important sampler of children's literature is The A-Z of Amazing. Rashmi Sirdeshpande shows kids and adults alike, how a life must be lived to the full in this succinct primer. Undoubtedly, a life without Puffin's books would be a very poor life indeed.
Dreamers are too many to mention but anticipate: Helen Oxenbury, Roald Dahl, Dick King-Smith, Patricia Forde, Sam Copeland, Clive King, Jill Murphy, Michael Morporgo, Nazneen Ahmed, Raymond Briggs and dozens of the A-list authors and illustrators signed by Puffin. Puffin also acknowledges the social context when selecting, so it's not surprising to sample quotes and motivational pieces from brilliant leaders, scientists and actors.
Thank you all at Puffin for 80 years of big dreams, or seeds of dreams and perhaps the impetus for achieving our own legacies and a better world. Keep handy, it's bound to help the patron deciding 'who' to read next, or a captive class with only a few minutes for literature appreciation. And to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Puffin, throughout the month of September 2020, you'll be able to score your very own Puffin water bottle for FREE! All you have to do is visit your local bookstore and purchase two Puffin books of your choice to receive your water bottle - at participating bookstores while stocks last.
Deborah Robins

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