The tone varies. After four poems of varying degrees of fun, including one named “Let’s Be Silly” and an charming ode to clumsiness that rhymes “tush” with “briar bush,” the fable section of the book feels surprisingly serious, with the stories concerned with making the characters—and potentially young readers—fearful of something, be it danger lurking on the other side of the fence, a strange part of town, or a vengeful bird. The tonal shift is small but feels abrupt, as one fable builds to “And that is how, in fact, CURIOSITY–KILLED–THE–CAT!” (A cheery reminder that cats have nine lives immediately follows.) Adults reading this with particularly sensitive children should be prepared. The other fable involves a mix of fantasy and science, exposing them to scientific concepts and imbuing the stars with both wonder and engaging fact.
For those unafraid, or more interested in the plenty of animals and happy kids that grace the pages, Dare to Imagine gives readers ample opportunity to use their imagination and be inspired to come up with their own poems and stories. Those looking for further immersion can also find each poem as a song on the author’s website. Whether a fiend for rhymes or someone brand new to fantastic tales of whimsy, this varied collection has something to offer for everyone.
Takeaway: Playful poems and imaginative fables will engage young readers.
Great for fans of: Arnold Lobel’s Fables; Jack Prelutsky’s It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A