When it comes to the environment, young Walter is not an enlightened individual. He's a litterbug who believes sorting trash for recycling is a big waste of time. What's more, he thinks his friend's birthday present, a tree, is the most ridiculous present he's ever seen. Walter believes the future is going to be wonderful, filled with robots and other amazing inventions. One night while lying in bed, Walter wishes he could visit the future. He falls asleep and his wish comes true. But the world Walter sees is not exactly what he'd imagined. When he returns to the present, he is changed and so are his dreams.
Young Walter litters and refuses to sort trash for recycling, until he dreams of an overcrowded and polluted future which terrifies him into taking care of the earth.
Chris Van Allsburg is the winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, as well as the recipient of a Caldecott Honor Book for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. The author and illustrator of numerous picture books for children, he has also been awarded the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature. In 1982, Jumanji was nominated for a National Book Award and in 1996, it was made into a popular feature film. Chris Van Allsburg was formerly an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and two children.
Two-time Caldecott Medalist Van Allsburg reaches a new pinnacle of excellence
in both illustration and storytelling in his latest work. Since his first book,
The Garden of Abdul Gasazi , appeared just over a decade ago, he has spun many
strange and fantastic modern fairy tales, all of which spill over the edge of
reality into magnificent dreamscapes. Here Van Allsburg introduces Walter, a
boy who imagines the future as a marvelous time, with tiny airplanes that can
be parked on the roof of your house and robots that take care of all your work
for you. In the present, however, Walter is a litterbug who can't be bothered
to sort the trash for recycling and laughs at Rose, the girl next door, because
she receives a sapling for her birthday. One night, when Walter goes to sleep,
his bed travels to the future. But he finds neither tiny airplanes nor robots,
only piles of trash covering the street where he used to live, acres and acres
of stumps where forests used to stand, rows and rows of great smokestacks
belching out acrid smoke, and many other environmental nightmares. Van Allsburg
renders each of these chilling scenarios in elaborate, superbly executed
two-page spreads that echo the best work of M. C. Escher and Winsor McKay
(creator of the Little Nemo comic strips).pls call Gil Sprague at 201-653-4055
and make sure this addition is OK by him. also, are these the only artists
whose styles come to mind when he looks at these pictures? Walter and his bed
land right in the middle of the action in each of these hallucinatory
paintings, heightening the visual impact and forcing a hard look at the
devastation surrounding Van Allsburg's protagonist. An awakened Walter, jolted
by his dream, changes his ways: he begins to sort the trash and, like Rose,
plants a tree for his birthday. Then his bed takes him to a different future,
one where people tend their lawns with powerless mowers and where the trees he
and Rose have planted stand tall and strong beneath a blue sky. Not only are
Just a Dream 's illustrations some of the most striking Van Allsburg has ever
created, but the text is his best yet. Van Allsburg has sacrificed none of the
powerful, otherworldly spirit that suffuses his earlier works, and he has taken
a step forward by bringing this spirit to bear on a vitally important issue.
His fable builds to an urgent plea for action as it sends a rousing message of
hope. All ages. (Oct.)
"Van Allsburg reaches a new pinnacle of excellence in both illustration and storytelling . . . His fable builds to an urgent plea for action as it sends a rousing message of hope."—Publishers Weekly
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