Review: Dream On by Josh Tuininga

In this post, we’ll be reviewing a new children’s book that pays tribute to classic rock called Dream On. Enjoy!

About the Author

Josh Tuininga is an award-winning author and artist from the Pacific Northwest. He graduated from the famous School of the Art Institute of Chicago, studying fine art, animation, and technology. Besides writing, he started an art and design agency called The Medium.

Reading books to his kids is what inspired him to start writing children’s books of his own. In 2014, he published his first book Why Blue?, which explores why the sky is blue through the main character Maya’s eyes.

The illustrations in the book are beautiful. My favourite is the sunset, of course. The book’s message is to show how all of us have different perspectives and the sky is something that everyone can understand. Reminds me of a funny story my dad would tell me about his older brother who would sarcastically say the sky was green or orange whenever my dad or his twin brother said the sky is blue.

Maya is based on Josh’s twin daughters. Klara, one of his daughters, explains it in this video below.

Review: Dream On

Five years after the last book, is Josh’s upcoming book, Dream On. He kindly provided me a review copy of the book.

It’s different from the last one because this one focuses on classic rock and R&B, two genres my readers and I appreciate. The inspiration came from his parents who would play classic rock songs and songs their parents grew up with to bring the family together. Beautiful! Music is universal.

The book tells the story of a little girl who argues with her mother right before bedtime and switches on the radio to help her get to sleep. Her mother isn’t happy that she’s playing rock music through the night, but she keeps playing it against her mother’s wishes.

As the door closes, the DJ announces songs, which fit the mood of the story, beginning with “Under Pressure” when there’s tension between the two and “I Won’t Back Down” because the daughter is going to have it her way and continue listening to rock music. Throughout the night, she dreams about rocking out on stage and in the end, the two make up.

In the back, there’s a playlist of all the songs referenced with the musicians. I can honestly say I approve of all of those songs and this book is a great way of sharing songs from decades ago and keeping them alive for a new generation of music fans.

Overall, the book is incredibly creative and is a nod to all the great songs from the classic rock era of the 50s to the 80s. Lots of easter eggs and stuff too. I love the illustrations from the retro boom box to the room full of classic rock posters to the hippie bus in the dream. This book brings me right back to my time at my university’s radio station and makes me want to go back to announcing songs on the air and sharing my knowledge.

Recently, I was at a family reunion and I was playing a bunch of classic rock songs for when my husband and I renewed our vows and my uncle (who was born in 1951) said this was all the music he grew up with and was happy to see me appreciating it. It was great to see all the generations of the family uniting through music.

Below is a cool time lapse of the creation of the posters – classic rock and beyond. How many bands can you recognise?

You can preorder the book on Indiegogo until 19 January. There are no risks with pledging, as the book is all ready to go. In March, the books will be delivered to backers. I love how the tiers all are classic rock songs: “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “Good Vibrations”, “We Will Rock You”, “Stairway to Heaven”, and “Break on Through”.

For just $10, you can get an animated digital copy of the book, perfect for tablets and smartphones. If you prefer physical copies (can totally relate there), they’re $25.

The book won’t be available in stores just yet, so if you want a copy, pledge today.

Shout out to my good friend and Topaz level Patron, Patrick.

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