Books & Literature

Book Review: An A to Z of Dreaming Differently, by Tracey Dembo, illustrated by Lucia Masciullo

PICTURE BOOK: Beautifully illustrated by award-winning Lucia Masciullo, this bold and affirming picture book shouts from the rooftops that you should be you.

A simple book with big ideas, which can read at any age. Especially useful in a classroom setting.

Feature image credit: Penguin Books Australia

Tracey Dembo is an Australian writer from Perth. An A to Z of Dreaming Differently is her first published book. Lucia Masciullo was born and bred in Italy, and came to Australia in 2007. She is the author of eight books for children and has also illustrated 30 books. She likes to mix watercolour, pencil, and collage in her illustrations.

An A to Z of Dreaming Differently is a book about being yourself. It allows children to accept the fact that we are all different and to celebrate it. Each page encourages children to give life a go, make mistakes, then try again.

The colourful watercolour illustrations, which also create a calming effect, show four children living life. There is lots of detail on each page to consider and create discussion. The four children are obviously very good friends, but we also see that true friendships don’t always run smoothly and that is okay as well.

The children could be any age, which means it is suitable for all primary-age children, but even younger secondary children can take something away from this book. It would be an excellent addition to any classroom. Teachers could just concentrate on the text, but the illustrations would also lead to much conversation. They show children in the class whispering and giggling while another child is talking, protesting to stop climate change, and working as a team. This book could also be used in the Protective Behaviours program, encouraging children to have feelings and learn to say “no.” Each page is a lesson in itself, and would provide much discussion.

Teaching notes have also been developed in line with curriculum-linked activities.

An A to Z of Dreaming Differently, perfect for any home or classroom library, asks us to dream big, but most importantly to be ourselves in the way we think and act.

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

The views expressed in this review belong to the author and not Glam Adelaide, its affiliates, or employees.

Distributed by: Penguin Books Australia
Released: August 2023
RRP: $24.99

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