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Arthur's Dream Boat
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Arthur's Dream Boat

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  139 ratings  ·  44 reviews
From the talented Polly Dunbar comes an imaginative adventure that will have children sailing away on their own flights of fancy.

One night, Arthur has an amazing dream about a pink and green boat with a striped mast and a beautiful figurehead. He can’t wait to tell his family about it! But when he tries, no one (not even the dog) is interested in listening. In fact, they d...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Candlewick
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2013 Mock Caldecott
89th out of 97 books — 230 voters
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Curious about it all...
14th out of 81 books — 4 voters


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Community Reviews

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Rachel
As I began reading, I was prepared to love this. The book itself is packaged beautifully. The illustrations are engaging and the story-line is creative--I especially like the boat on the little boys head that keeps growing with each added detail but it gets confusing and isn't clear if the dream is being embellished by his surroundings or if his surroundings are just emphasizing his dream. I also thought the newspapers mermaid image and the boat's figurehead were distracting and out of place for...more
Vera Godley
When you first pick up this children's picture book, you are immediately impressed with the soft, intuitively gentle art that is done using various mediums. The colors speak loudly of dreamy, amazing, childhood - blues, reds, greens basic browns and black but overtly soft.

When Arthur awakens, he has had a dream of a small boat it is green and pink and has a sail. No one listens when he tells of his amazing dream. He keeps on trying to gain their attention, but they are so busy and are not listen...more
Angela
Polly Dunbar's illustrations are top notch. The story is a cummulitive story about bringing to life something from a dream.

Arthur dreams about a boat. In the morning when he tries to describe his "amazing" boat to his family, he is largely ignored. As he adds details the boat it comes to life upon his head until his larger than life dream becomes a floating family adventure.

(Review based on UK Edition)
Elisabeth
I'm a sucker for discover-for-yourself details in picture books. The simple text, sound effects and vibrant pictures should make this a success in storytime. I also like "message to adult" books that are still written on a kids' level.
Danielle
*Full Review to Come*

Short and Sweet: Polly Dunbar can do no wrong. Her illustrations are gorgeous! Children will love following Arthur as his dreams come to life!
Connie Klever
Adorable story about a little boy who wants to tell his preoccupied family about his dream. Nice message to parents and caregivers about "stopping to smell the roses".
Rachel
Illustrations are soft and lovely, but the story is a little odd.
Erin Reilly-Sanders
This one would get an Erin's Award for Gorgeous Pictures. There's just something about opening a book and being completely struck by the quality of the illustrations. While this isn't quite as thrilling as Pinkney's The Lion and the Mouse, it's pretty close which means that it should be a Caldecott contender- too bad Dunbar is British! I would totally buy the back endpaper (the orangey red sun mirroring the softly rendered sleeping boy with washes of softly textured blue and green teal, if not o...more
Gwen the Librarian
Last night, Arthur dreamt of a boat. As he goes around trying to get his family to listen to his dream, the boat in his memory (cleverly pictured on top of his head) takes on qualities of his family and their home - polka-dot sails match Mom's polka-dot dress, etc. As no one listens, the sea creeps up on Arthur and his family with the sound, "ssshhh, ssshhh" and sweeps everyone in, including Arthur, now safely in his boat. He does, of course, save them all. Then, on the endpapers, Arthur is asle...more
Destinee Sutton
I love Polly Dunbar's picture books. This one comes at a very opportune time--we're gearing up for our Summer Reading Program and the 2012 theme will be "DREAM BIG...READ!"

No, that's not a weird boat-hat on the kid's head on the cover of the book. Arthur dreams of a boat, and his dream boat is shown in the illustrations right above his head.

This is somewhat reminiscent of last year's Blackout because we have a child trying to get the attention of his family, all of whom are too wrapped in thei...more
Melissa
Love the illustrations in this. Love the questions for the reader...did Arthur really dream all those details? Or are they being added as he greats his family? Is the boat really on his head? The small white boat on his head when he wakes up turns pink-and-green when he sees his dog, in a green collar, yawn with his pink tongue sticking out. The striped mast is added when he comes across his brother's lamp... There are all sorts of other fishy things to notice too--the tentacle in his brother's...more
Romelle
This is a sweet bedtime book about a boy named Arthur who is trying to share his dream with his family. But no one is listening or is interested. They don't even notice his dream boat growing on his head until they all get swept away in Arthur's dream.

I'm sure readers will relate to a time when they wanted to share their dreams only to be told to deaf ears. This is a story that will inspire readers to imagine and dream big.

The illustrations are soft and sweet. The text are precise. It almost fe...more
Rainey
Dunbar's tale is a subtlw reminder to pay attention to your children.
Paula
"One night, Arthur has an amazing dream about a pink-and-green boat with a striped mast and beautiful figurehead. He tries to tell his family about it when he wakes up, but no one (not even the dog!) is interested. In fact, they don't even notice the boat on his head, growing larger and larger by the minute! Soon, Arthur is bouncing along the waves in his very own dream boat. Maybe now his family will listen to him!"--Dust jacket.
Mary
Arthur has a dream he is trying to tell his family about but they aren't listening. His dream is about a boat and that boat is actually on his head when he wakes up. It gets bigger the more he tries to tell people about it until it is so big, they all climb in! Soft, full page illustrations illuminate the story for young children. Extra large print helps with the early literacy skill of print awareness.
Margie
No one wants to listen to Arthur's dream about a boat until they notice the boat on his head (which keeps growing) is the boat of his dreams. This is a stunning combination of lyrical narrative and soft mixed media illustrations. Careful readers will see things in Arthur's home become a part of his dream or is his dream becoming part of their home?
Danielle
Wow.
Beautifully illustrated and much more than that.
I love that in this story is a boy who has something to share with his family but they don't listen. They don't listen so much and he wants to tell it so much that the something gets bigger and bigger and comes to life.
Magnificent.
Rebecca Ann
Arthur has a dream about a boat, and when he tries to tell his family they won't listen. When arthur loses his patience, the dream becomes real, and he saves his family with his dream boat. I loved the artwork and how the pictures added to the story, but i found the ending confusing.
Lorna
Arthur tries to share a magical dream, but no one is listening. Once they do though, they are in for a treat! For a similar, "reconnect, listen, and engage" message, I like this better than Cordell's Hello, Hello book.
Zulaika
My 5 year old thought it was too short. I believe the whole story is all a dream though the boy doesn't know it at first. I'm not sure I like that the boy is dreaming of his while family ignoring him.
The Styling Librarian
What a gorgeous book that could be read simply by the amazing illustrations alone. I loved the simplicity of a little boy trying to make sure people were listening to him!
Marina S
A book with a lot of vivid descriptions. This one would be cool to read without showing the pictures and just having the students close their eyes and listen to the book.
Adrienne Furness
A sensitive exploration of a common family situation (NO ONE WILL LISTEN TO ME!) as well as a way to talk about dreams and where they come from. Dunbar's art is lovely as ever.
Elizabeth
Gorgeous Story time book! Phenomenal illustrations, and great sound words for Children to mimic during story time. Wonderful book & I will definitely be using it soon!
Great Books
Arthur's dream comes to life adding new details with every turn of the page. Will his family finally pay attention to him and join in on the adventure?
reviewer 15
Maddypictures
British author Dunbar delivers a gem in this imaginative story of a boy who dramatically reclaims the attention of his busy family with a fantastic dream boat.
Jess
the illustrations were lovely, but the story, although containing a universally appealling message of being ignored, just read a bit confusing.
Kifflie
I liked how Arthur's fantasy of a dream boat transforms into reality as this book moves along. And I liked the color choices she made
Janell
Perfect for SRC - Dream Big!
Make a storywalk?
All about parents paying attention to their children....
Laura Graves
Beautiful art, but I wasn't very impressed with the story. It just doesn't seem to have a point.
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Polly Dunbar is the author-illustrator of many children’s books, including DOG BLUE, PENGUIN, and six stories featuring Tilly and Friends. She is also the illustrator of David Almond’s MY DAD'S A BIRDMAN. Polly Dunbar lives in Brighton, England.
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