That Is My Dream!
by Hughes, Langston; Miyares, Daniel (ILT)

An uplifting picture book inspired by one of Hughes' most celebrated poems, "Dream Variation," features an African-American boy who escapes the harsh realities of segregation and prejudice by dreaming of a life filled with freedom, hope and wonderful possibilities.

Langston Hughes (1902-1967) is one of the most beloved and celebrated American poets of all time. He published his first poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" in The Crisis magazine in 1921. His first book of poems, The Weary Blues, which includes the poem "Dream Variation," was published by Knopf in 1926 when Hughes was only twenty-four years old. Hughes was an important leader of the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s. During his lifetime, he was awarded a Guggenhiem Fellowship (1935), a Rosenwald Fellowship (1940), and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Grant (1947). In addition to poetry, Hughes wrote short stories, novels, memoirs, essays, and plays.
Daniel Miyares is the author and illustrator of Float, an ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book of the Year, which The Boston Globe called, "a perfect wordless book;" Pardon Me!; and Bring Me a Rock! He also illustrated Surf's Up by Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander. He lives in Kansas City, MO, with his wife and their two children. Visit him on the web at or on Twitter @danielmiyares.

Illustrator Miyares (Float, 2015) interprets Langston Hughes' poem "Dream Variation" using a visual narrative that ends on a hopeful note. In the first stanza, he depicts two families-one African American, the other white-experiencing their small southern town in the 1950s. Their encounters on the bus, walking through town, and at the drinking fountain are completely separate, and not necessarily equal. With the second verse, he imagines the same characters in a brighter, integrated world where the children soar aloft on birds, drink together from a stream, and spend a lazy afternoon under the shade of a tall tree. Miyares' gouache artwork depicts the early scenes using a muted palette, switching to more vivid hues in the second, idealized verse. Birds in flight appear frequently in the imagined landscape, mirroring the freedom the kids feel at being able to play together: "To fling my arms wide / In the face of the sun." This is a perfect introduction to the Harlem Renaissance poet, and Miyares' illustrations are sure to generate much thoughtful discussion. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

A quietly powerful picture book that Hughes himself would have adored.Like Charles R. Smith's My People and E.B. Lewis' The Negro Speaks of Rivers, Miyares' rendition of Hughes' famous poem connects intimately with children's lives. In the illustrations alone, Miyares creates the story of a little suspenders-wearing African-American boy who travels to town in the back of the bus with his mother and sister, at the same time developing a mutual interest in a little white boy who rides in the front of the same bus with his mother and sister. The boys sneak glances at each other while on the bus, walking in town, and drinking from water fountains labeled "WHITES ONLY" and "COLORED ONLY." That evening, Dad joins the black family for a picnic. A brown sparrow lands on the boy's finger, prompting a turn in the realistic narrative. The line "That is my dream!" initiates the fantasy. As the sun sets, the two sets of siblings ride on colorful birds (sparrow, goldfinch, bluebird, and ca rdinal): "Dance! Whirl! Whirl!" together in the sky. Miyares' historically situated watercolor illustrations perfectly capture the tensions of racial segregation, contrasting them against the joy and peace that come from the freedom for all children to make friends who don't look like them. A must-read illustrated poem that breathes new life into Hughes' "Dream Variation." (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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