Early in the week Gabriela Olmos's children's book, I Dreamt arrived at my home. Originally published in Mexico it is now available in an English version via Groundwood Books.
This is the description of the text via Groundwood:
Children whose daily lives are afflicted by violence dream of a different world in this powerful book created by Mexican artists as a fundraiser for the IBBY Fund for Children in Crisis.
In many parts of the world, including North America, children are living with violence. Wars, gangs, guns, crime, bullying, harassment and fear keep many kids from living the full, free lives that every child should enjoy. This book was created in Mexico, where for the past six years a vicious war against drugs has brought fear and insecurity into every child’s life. Many children’s dreams have become nightmares. Some of Mexico’s best illustrators have donated their art to create this book, which gives children a way to talk about their fears, a reason to hope and the inspiration to resist falling into grief and depression. Like some city trees they have the possibility to grow strong and, despite everything, to try and make the world a better place.
I dreamt... is being published in North America for the same reasons. Royalties from sales will be donated to IBBY’s Fund for Children in Crisis, which supports bibliotherapy projects that use books and reading to help children who have lived through wars, civil conflicts and natural disasters to think and talk about their experiences.
The bold illustrations created by twelve Mexican artists show the transformations of once deadly objects like pistols that now shoot butterflies and drug lords who only blow soap bubbles. There are robbers who steal nightmares and wars fought with flowers.
The book turns from focusing on dreams to taking action.
The narrator urges children to learn from those city trees that in spite of concrete learn to grow and in doing so help all of us breathe.
The text is recommended for children 9 years of age and older.