Turtle’s Dream is a traditional First Nations story written by Delphina Nova, who is a member of Ontario’s Eastern Woodlands tribe and illustrated by Curtis Yanito, who is a member of the Navaho Nation. It is written in the style of oral storytelling.
Turtle calls a meeting of the forest animals to discuss what can be done about the wars between peoples. Humanity has lost its childlike innocence, its ability to laugh, substituting violent competition for harmony. Turtle wants the forest animals to revive their previous communication with humans. They must bring the message of peace and harmony to the people. They must revive humanity’s childlike joy.
I loved the idea that childlike enthusiasm would make the biggest difference in the lives of people. Children have much to teach us. Adult cynicism, greed, and ambition have crushed our natural inclinations to practice kindness and encourage friendship.
The drawings by Curtis Yenito are a combination of pencil crayon and watercolor. The animals are a clever commendation of realism and personified characters. The book ends with an interesting glossary of the meaning of each animal.
I would recommend some changes in the layout of the book, however. The print does not need to be so large. It overwhelms the pictures which should be the major focus. As well, a paragraph should never be broken between two pages, especially if it cuts a sentence in half.