I just discovered today, almost by accident (one of the perks of being a middle school sub), the book Dream Days by Kenneth Grahame, author of the better-known children’s classic The Wind in the Willows. I read the latter earlier this year (or rather, in the fall of last year; my mind still strums chronologically to the rhythm of the academic calendar) and loved it, so naturally, I picked this book up, too – and immediately fell in love.
It’s a simple, enchanting book about five siblings reveling in the best part of childhood: make-believe. And it manages, along with that, to authentically evoke some of the conflict and humorous aspects of childhood, as well.
It. is. beautiful.
This from the introduction by James Mustich, Jr.:
A journey through these Dream Days, or back in time to The Golden Age [the companion book to Dream Days], suggests a truth that most adults and, in our age of imperious and ubiquitous information (any formative legacy forgotten), too many children, never realize: the mind is a home to be dwelt in, not a warehouse to be stocked or inventories. Learning, at its most genuine and valuable, is the furnishing of that dwelling place, and growing up the arrangement of congenial and essential elements that we have assembled from the oddest places: from circus or schoolroom, forest or field, from purposeful pursuits or aimless games, from snippets of conversation or sermons that held whole Sundays hostage. In the process of this home-making, we shape our souls, which is just what the children whose antics animate this book are up to as they elude the attention of ‘The Olympians’ [adults].
I highly recommend this as another quality read, regardless of age…maybe it’s just what a body may need to re-awake the child inside of them.