Danny’s Dream tells the story of a little boy with big ambitions and how he learns to overcome obstacles in order to achieve them. It’s aimed at a slightly older age group than the books I would normally recommend on this blog (probably best for those aged 5+) – but I’m sharing it because Ivy was fascinated by the illustrations and the story behind them.
As soon as we opened the book, Ivy had questions! The inside cover shows a photograph of the artist, Ian Parker, painting using his mouth. She was utterly intrigued by the fact this was possible and amazed that each of the 34 illustrations had been painted in this way. Before reading the story we looked through all of the artwork and talked about how long it must take to be able to paint such intricate pictures without the use of your hands – 2 whole years in fact! It sparked a great conversation about disability, a theme which would continue when we started to read…
Danny is a boy with a talent for running. He’s not had an easy start in life so, whenever he can, he heads to his favourite tree in the middle of the forest, climbs to a little platform at the top and closes his eyes. He dreams of becoming an Olympic athlete and winning a gold medal for his country.
However one day he falls from the tree and his whole life changes.
The little boy struggles to accept that he must now spend his life in a wheelchair, until one day he discovers a ‘magic’ chair. Slowly he begins to realise that with a lot of hard work he might just be able to achieve his dream after all. Could a Paralympic gold medal be in his future?
This is a great story about the strength and determination it takes to achieve great things, made even more wonderful by the special illustrations.
As already mentioned, it was a tiny bit old for Ivy (who is 3) so we read it in small chunks as if it were a chapter book. Despite this, she got a lot of enjoyment out of it, and the little discussions which came out of the story.
I’d definitely recommend it for children aged 5-8 and it would be a great addition to a school library.
You can buy your copy directly from the MFPA (Mouth and Foot Painting Artists) website: https://www.mfpa.uk/shop/products/children-book-dannys-dream/
Disclosure: We were provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review