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Nurturing children’s dreams

Review of"Dream Street" by Tricia Elam Walker

On Dream Street, a thriving, loving African American community nurtures its children, nourishing and caring for their dreams, and helping them embrace hope-filled futures. Author Tricia Elam Walker describes the neighbourhood’s way of life as it helps children flourish: “There is no need to worry or to rush. They take their time, growing and playing, learning and living, and soaring skyward toward all the adventures that await them.”

Who are some of these children and what are their dreams?

Belle loves to catch butterflies, but she never keeps them in captivity for long because she believes all creatures should be free. She dreams of becoming a scientist who studies butterflies, a lepidopterist.

Azaria is a whiz at jumping rope and is able to do Double Dutch on one leg at a time. Her dream? She wants to win a trophy one day for her rope jumping skills.

Zion loves to read books. While other children are noisy and fool around in the library, he is engrossed in reading books. He dreams of becoming a librarian.

In an author and illustrator’s note, Walker and Holmes explain that they are the characters Ede and Tari who are portrayed in the book: “The story is based on our real lives and dreams growing up as a visual artist and a writer. As children, we loved what we loved (drawing and writing) and were always encouraged by friends and family. Now we know, and we want you to know, that dreams do come true (with lots of hard work along the way)!”

Christian parents and caregivers who share this exquisitely illustrated picture book with their children have the opportunity to talk about how dreams inspired by giftedness can be nourished in a godly context: with thanks to God for the gifts and skills he bestows; with a focus on using gifts to serve God and our neighbour; and with the knowledge that nurturing gifts as God desires is done with the wisdom, direction, and power of the Holy Spirit.

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