Review Blog

Apr 07 2015

Dreams of freedom by Amnesty International

cover image

Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2015. ISBN 9781847804532
Highly recommended for students from 6 and above. Filled with thought provoking quotes and wonderfully diverse art works, this is a stunning sequel to the title on human rights, We are All Born Free. As stated on the dust jacket, 'This unique collection of powerful words from champions of freedom today and throughout history is published in association with Amnesty International. The book introduces children to the words of Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Anne Frank and Malala Yousafzai, among many others, and is beautifully illustrated by world-renowned artists including Chris Riddell, Ros Asquith, Roger Mello, Jackie Morris, Barroux, Peter Sis and Mordicai Gerstein.' Michael Morpurgo's foreword highlights the importance of freedom of speech and liberty and describes the role of Amnesty as being to 'remind us that vigilance is vital, that the fight for justice must go on. It is the good fight and one in which all of us must be involved.' Dreams of freedom is perfect vehicle by which children can be introduced to the concepts of freedom of expression in both artistic pursuits and individuality, the ability to dream, experience childhood, education, liberty and freedom through equality, without slavery and fear and be prompted to action.
As with the previous book, We are All Born Free, this title contains a broad variety of quotes from modern and historic voices, each selected to perfectly illustrate the central importance of freedom in our lives. The artists' styles are hugely varied, ranging from collage to watercolour, indigenous Australian art to Asian, cartoon style to the realism of the cat watching over the caged bird. Sadly, the Barroux image brings to mind the Charlie Hedbo killings and the deaths of political satirist cartoonists. Rather than detract from the message, the dramatically different colours and techniques blend together to create a masterful title, lending itself to so many uses within the classroom. Whether discussing civics and citizenship, human rights or freedom, both this title and its predecessor are a must have for every classroom or school library.
Jo Schenkel

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