justadreamBy Maggie Wolfe

This is my one of my favorite children’s environmental books. Chris Van Allsburg’s illustrations are fabulous, as always, and greatly add to the drama of the story. I read this book to students (5th-6th grade) at the end of almost every week at outdoor school. This is a great book to read aloud, especially because of the way the illustrations are separate from the text. What I love about this book is that it is in the end very hopeful. Walter’s first dreams of the future show a world of great environmental problems, based on his actions of not caring in the present; but when he changes his ways, the future changes also. I like to emphasize this when reading it to students: The future is not written yet, but we are creating it every day with the choices we make. This is definitely a children’s environmental literature classic, along with Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” and Lynne Cherry’s “The Great Kapok Tree,” but is even better for older children.