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“La timidez es una condición ajena al corazón, una categoría una dimensión que desemboca en la soledad.” ~Pablo Neruda

The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sís is the children’s book that will take a parent back to the evenings that she shared with her child enjoying a good read. A journey back to the bedtime routine that was shared snuggling and slowing down after a fast-paced day with a book, before kissing her toddler good night. The Dreamer will bring this moment back as it is the book to be shared between parent and child! It will move all that have shared a reading experience with another.  

Neftalí is a young, creative, and timid boy coming of age in Chile, having a stern and working-class father, a gentle, loving mother, an older candid brother, and a protective little sister. Neftalí’s imagination is inspired by all his senses, the things he sees, the smells, the sounds. Everything is welcomed into his inner world and lovingly guarded. A finder and gatherer, Neftalí carefully displays all his treasurers in his room. He is a gentle soul that enjoys the world as a marvel and curious place and evades others, especially his father, due to their misperceptions and misguided attempts to pull him out of his dreamy world.

It is possible for a parent to be able to recognize Neftalí in one of their children. Daydreamers, collectors, gatherers, off in their own world, leisurely experiencing its wonders through touch, smell, sight, sound, and taste. It can prove frustrating to a parent in the busy, reality of adulthood. Nevertheless it is during these exasperating moments that we might remind ourselves of the poet within us that is longing to be heard and the poetry that is life, and instead appreciate these moments and that child that has gently reminded us to slow down and enjoy. The Dreamer is the book to start enjoying a shared experience once again with your child.

About the Book

From the time he is a young boy, Neftalí hears the call of a mysterious voice. Even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself, Neftalí knows he cannot ignore the call. Under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain, he listens and he follows… Combining elements of magical realism and biography, poetry, literary fiction, and sensorial, transporting illustrations, Pam Muñoz and Peter Sís take readers on a rare journey of the heart and imagination.

Shyness

I scarcely knew, by myself, that I existed,

that I’d be able to be, and go on being.

I was afraid of that, of life itself.

I didn’t want to be seen,

I didn’t want my existence to be known.

I became pallid, thin, and absentminded.

I didn’t want to speak so that nobody

 would recognize my voice, I didn’t want

to see so that nobody would see me.

Walking, I pressed myself against the wall

like a shadow slipping away….

~The Poetry of Pablo Neruda