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Boat of Dreams
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About the Author

Rogerio Coelho has illustrated more than 100 books in Brazil, where he lives, and he won Brazil's top literary prize, the Jabuti Award, in 2012. He illustrates for children's magazines internationally, including Storytime Magazine in England. He conceived Boat of Dreams while spending a few winter days with his children in a coastal Brazilian village, surrounded by a beautiful but gray landscape. The boy and the man appeared instantly in his imagination, but it took him almost seven years to complete the book. "The story became much bigger than my first concept, but I could not find ways to tell it otherwise," he says. "When walking toward the future I never forget to look back, and I always see a boy who loves to draw. And when I look ahead, I can't see another picture than this."

Reviews

"This wordless, 80-page picture book opens with an elderly man waking up. He goes outside and we discover he lives at the seaside. After a floating bottle beaches, he opens it to find a piece of paper. He begins to draw: a picture of a boat. He places the paper back in the bottle and returns it to the sea. The action then shifts to a city, where a small boy finds an envelope at his doorstep. Inside is the drawing. And we watch as the boy draws a crude picture of himself inside the boat. The next thing we know, he is aboard it, flying to the old man. When he arrives, they embrace; the boy hands the man the envelope, and flies off. Inside the envelope is the picture the boy has drawn. Fin. This strange story is drawn in gorgeous, full bleed, sepia-toned, sharp-angled Expressionist style, like storyboards for a Tim Burton film. But what does it mean? Some readers may postulate that the boy and man are the same person, separated only by age. After all, there are many parallels between the characters. Others may interpret it is simply an evocative dream. Whatever it is, it's a wonderful invitation to imagine. What could be better than that?" -- Michael Cart - Booklist Starred Review
"

Stunning stylized sepia artwork on full pages and in panels illustrates this wordless story. Verdict: Intriguing images and interpretations abound, offering readers lots to pore over and ponder. A lovely choice.

" -- Daryl Grabarek - School Library Journal *Starred Review*
"A nuanced physical and emotional landscape aimed to capture experienced readers but likely to snag the occasional neophyte as well." -- Kirkus
"It's a haunting story of inexplicable connections, and Coelho resists spelling out its mysteries, letting readers draw their own conclusions." -- Publishers Weekly
"Rogerio Coelho has the gift to transform images into messages, far into near, and near into inside. In his images the colors travel through sepia and blue combinations, the spaces house countless objects, the objects with their magical traits come alive, and the characters reveal themselves as affections. In a trip of discovery, childhood meets old age, and old age meets hope. Colors, shapes, and volumes are unwritten words that the reader's intelligence reconstructs as the poetry of the near and far, the journey of a boat of dreams in order to tie the two ends of life." -- Marta Marais de Costa
"

There is an old man who lives on the beach. One day he sees a bottle with a paper in it. But the paper is blank. So he draws a really cool, steampunk-like boat. Then he puts it back in the bottle and sends it back into the ocean. Then the boy gets a letter, and it is the man's drawing. The boy draws a picture of him and his cat on the boat, then he tapes the picture over his bed and goes to sleep. When he is sleeping, he has a dream that he is going to see the man, and he is sailing to see him in the boat.

The book doesn't have any words, so you have to make up the story yourself. The pictures are really beautiful and I really like them even thought they aren't very colorful. They make you think it is like a dream. You don't really know if the old man is the boy's grandfather, but they are happy to see each other. There are a lot of details in the pictures, like the old man's house is full of drawings and maybe inventions and lots of old things. 5/5 STARS

" -- Liesel, Age 4 - Kids' Book Buzz
"Originally published in Brazil, this book introduces U.S. readers to the magnificent artwork of Rogerio Coelho. An old man who lives alone at the seaside wakes up one morning to find a bottle containing a blank piece of paper. His response is to draw a boat on the paper and set the bottle afloat again. This wordless book then shifts to a city scene where a young boy receives the picture of the boat in an envelope. How are these two connected? How did the drawing get from the bottle in the ocean to the boy's door front? Using a limited palette of sepia tones and soft blues, and a mix of double-page spreads and panel art, Coelho gives the story a surreal feel and leaves readers wondering in the best way." -- Lesley Colabucci - International Literacy Association's Literacy Daily Blog.

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