By Terri Schlichenmeyer
Someday, you’re going to be something big.
You’ll be very famous – of that, you’re absolutely certain. Lots of people will want your autograph, photographers will scream for your picture, you’ll be onstage every night and everyone will clap for you.
It’s going to happen. It will.
All it’s going to take, perhaps, is a bit of practice – or maybe, as you’ll see in the new book “Santiago the Dreamer in Land Among the Stars” by Ricky Martin, illustrated by Patricia Castelao, you might just need to sleep on your idea for a night….
From the time he was just a tiny boy, Santiago wanted to be a star.
He wanted to sing onstage, and maybe act. He wanted everybody to applaud for him. He wanted to see his name in lights. So when auditions were held for the annual school play, he decided to try out for a part.
But when he got there, another boy was auditioning and that kid was good. So when it was Santiago ’s turn to perform, he felt very nervous. Everyone laughed at him, and he was embarrassed.
That night, Santiago was sad when he told his father that he didn’t get the part in the play. But his father wasn’t worried. “Never give up,” Papa said. “And no matter what you choose, always reach for the moon!”
Santiago fell asleep, thinking about what his father said. That night, his dreams took him to some interesting places…
He dreamed that he was a teacher, helping kids and inspiring them. Then he was a pilot in a “big jet,” flying across the sky. He was a doctor, then an astronaut, then a famous dinosaur hunter, and a world-class baseball home-run hitter. And then the best part of the whole night: Santiago dreamed that he was onstage, in front of a big crowd that was happy to see him!
It was all so amazing that he decided to practice the things he loved doing. He practiced dancing every chance he got. He sang at home and at school, inside and outside. He practiced so much that when something unexpected happened, Santiago the Dreamer had his eyes wide open!
Looking for a little encouragement for a little one? This book may be just right – or it may not.
I liked “Santiago the Dreamer in Land Among the Stars.” Author Ricky Martin offers his readers a feel-good story, and artist Patricia Castelao adds some of the most appealing illustrations I’ve seen in a good long while. The problem, I fear, is that the ending of the book – which seemed like it was lifted off a motivational poster – might be lost on fans of picture books. Will your 3-to-6-year-old will grasp the meaning here? Would an older child consider a picture book to be too babyish?
Still, I keep looking at the illustrations and this story and I can’t not recommend this book. Kids with imagination and vision might like it just fine. For them, “Santiago the Dreamer in Land among the Stars” could be big.
The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 12,000 books.