When My Baby Dreams by Adele Enersen

Cover Image of When My Baby Dreams by Adele EnersenEnersen, Adele. When My Baby Dreams. New York: Balzer + Bray, 2012.

Plot:  We all know that babies are expert sleepers. But what do they dream about? A new mother gives readers a glimpse into her baby’s imaginative dreams through playful photographs.

Point of View: 1st person (mother)

Theme: Babies, mothers, sleep, dreams, dreamscapes, photography, imagination

Literary Quality: Originating in Enersen’s popular photo blog, this picture book uses the author’s photographs to illustrate the dreams of her baby, Mila. Whether dreaming of playing in a forest, of being a bee or a butterfly, or of traveling around the world, Mila’s dreamscapes are composed of soft materials such as blankets, clothes, and carpet with accents like books, stuffed animals, and balloons. The spare text narrating these whimsical scenes is brief enough to hold the attention of babies and young tots, who will most likely enjoy the variety of familiar and unfamiliar words, concepts, and animals, as well as pointing out the baby in each image. The changing pastel page colors also help maintain the soft and subtle tone of this book. Sweet and visually interesting, When My Baby Dreams shows readers yet another creative way to tell a story. Read more about Enersen’s process of making the photographs and book here.

Audience: Ages 0-8. A picture book whose content appeals to the youngest readers and their parents, but that also might inspire some older siblings to imagine (and draw pictures of!) their newest family members’ dreams during all that sleepy time.

Personal reaction: I found When My Baby Dreams to be full of charm and adorable without being overly sweet. I appreciate the way that the short text, use of color, and a simple, repeating layout keep the emphasis on the photographs, allowing the story in each scene to truly shine through. I also couldn’t help thinking that Mila seems like an especially cooperative baby!

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