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Dream Carver by Diana Cohn

Dream Carver

by Diana Cohn

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While I did enjoy "Dream Carver", it was not one of my favorites that I have read so far. It does an excellent job of explaining traditional Mexican wood carvings, in the context of the story. The illustrations hold a fairly "wooden" appearance, as if they are being carved out as the story unfolds as well. However, I felt like there could have been more of a transition to the father changing his mind (but I may be overcritical, as this is not meant for older readers). The larger message was that it's okay to add your own flair to your cultural traditions and you should always follow your dreams. ( )
  StephKiefer | Mar 30, 2017 |
The reason I enjoyed this book is because of the plot. A young boy works hard with his family to create little wooden toys to sell at his town’s market. He dreams of creating more than little toys but these bigger creations of art. His father discourages him but he decides to create them in secret. The illustrator does a great job with brightly colored pictures, catching any child’s eye. The reason I also like the book’s message of encouraging children to follow their dreams and dream big. This message is relatable for all children. ( )
  KelseyHernandez | Mar 1, 2017 |
I think this is a pretty good book for several reasons. The character development is fairly realistic. The main character, Mateo, is relatable to children because his father told him that he could not do something and he went ahead a secretly did it anyway, which I believe is what many children do. In this book, however, Mateo's father ended up being proud of Mateo for carving larger animals even though he originally disagreed with him. I believe the father was a realistic character because often parents can underestimate their children and discourage them from pursuing silly or outrageous dreams. When Mateo told his father that he wanted to carve larger animals with a machete, his father told him no and to "stop these foolish dreams, we have work to do!" I also enjoyed this book because of it's descriptive language. The author described aspects of the setting when she wrote that the "goats were as pink as bougainvillea with cactus-green speckles." The last aspect of this story that I thought was beneficial was the informative text at the end of the story. This text provided information about Oaxacon wood carving for the reader to learn more about the wood carving that was referenced in the book. This is a great text feature that allows the reader to understand the culture of the characters in the story, Overall, the main idea of the story was to always follow your dreams and work hard to reach them. Despite his father's disapproval, Mateo continued to try and make large wood carvings with a machete. "Mateo kept carving day after day and week after week" to pursue what he dreamt of making. ( )
  jbaker31 | Feb 27, 2017 |
I loved this book because it was about a boy not giving up on his dreams and creating something amazing. The fact that even though the father said no and did not support his dream at first just shows how people should not give up on what they want to achieve because it is different or someone doesn’t support it. This book clearly displays the message and encourages people to try different things. The illustrations were beautiful and helped to understand what a “quetzal” was. An example of how the book demonstrated not giving up was “...kept trying until he finally made the bird “quetzal.” After that it all came easy.” This book showed the Hispanic culture and informed me of the traditional of creating the small animals out of wood and seeing them at the festival every year. It was interesting to read and learn about a different culture and their customs. The message of this book is to not only encourage people to not give up on their dreams and try something new but to also inform them of a different culture. ( )
  Madison94 | Oct 7, 2014 |
There were many reasons I liked this book. The first was that it was bilingual. An example of this is when a character said, “outside their casa”. Another reason I liked the book was for all the fantastic similes. One simile used that I liked was, “goats as pink as bougainvillea with cactus green speckles”. I also liked the author chose to enunciate things through different text fonts. When the child was dreaming and a dream animal came to the child, the animal’s speech was in a different font from the rest of the text.
The big idea of this book is it’s ok for traditions to change. Also persevere even when you want to give up. ( )
  StephanieWeiner | Oct 5, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0811812448, Hardcover)

Mateo and his father carve juguetes, small wooden animals his family sells at the fiestas in Oaxaca. But Mateo wants to carve much larger animals-goats as pink as bougainvillea with cactus-green speckles, and purple cats with corn-yellow spots. When he tells his father how he longs to bring these large animals to life, his father only scowls, but Mateo perseveres. Including an informative afterword on this vibrant Mexican art form, this colorful tale inspires readers of all ages to follow their passion.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:06 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In this story, inspired by the real life of Oaxacan woodcarver Manuel Jimenez, a young boy dreams of colorful, exotic animals that he will one day carve in wood.

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