Dream Friends by You Byun
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In "Dream Friends," artist You Byun’s debut picture book, a lonely girl named Melody has a special friend. As you may have guessed from the book’s title, the catch to their friendship is that Melody and her friend can only meet in her dreams. It’s an idea filled with promise and Byun has beautifully captured a child’s surreal dream world in her muted pastel colored paintings. With their slightly over-sized, bean-shaped heads, the character design in “Dream Friends” reminded me of the children in the animated film “My Neighbor Totoro,” (Melody's large dream friend, is also not unlike Totoro). The story itself is very simple and half of the book consists of scenes of Melody romping with her Dream Friend in their dream world. I do wish there was more development of Melody's character, but seeing that this book is meant for very young children, it's understandable that story and character development are secondary to the lovely illustrations. Even though the story may seem simple, the book does deliver a heartfelt message. In the end Melody learns that by taking inspiration from her dreams, she can find happiness, magic and friendship in her waking life. I suppose it's a lesson even grown-ups can learn from.
Below are two of the dream vignettes featured in You Byun's picture book, "Dream Friends."
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