If you read my review of Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Gary Rosen, you know I kind of have a thing for these little marsupials. So how could I resist sharing another possum story?
Possum Dreams (Spring House Press 2018), written and illustrated by Julie Sola, is about Henry, a possum with a very big imagination. He looks forward to bedtime (shocking, right?) because his dreams are always full of adventure. In Henry’s dreams, he rides a motorcycle, flies a plane, and even sings on the Grand Ole Opry (a nice nod to the hometown)! With all that excitement, who wouldn’t be ready to go to sleep when bedtime comes around?
You could say that this picture book is a veiled attempt at manipulating kids into being enthusiastic about bedtime (like that would be a bad thing). But that’s really not the message. For me, this book encourages kids to explore and broaden their imagination through dreaming. Whether at night or by day, dreaming lets our imaginations run wild. Just think of the endless possibilities! Who knows, some of those dreams might even come true. But you’ll never know if you never dream.
I think Henry would say, Dream Big or Go Home!
About the Author/Illustrator of Possum Dreams
Julie Sola is an artist and teacher who spent time working at Hatch Show Print, the historic letterpress poster shop and museum in Nashville, Tennessee. It has been in operation since 1879. If you visit Nashville, I highly recommend the tour – it is so worth it!
The artwork in this book is from original hand-pulled linoleum cuts printed by hand at Hatch Show Print on a 1968 Vandercook proofing press. Wow! If you have time, Hatch Print Shop has several interesting videos that takes you through the printing process. If you want to learn more about linocut printing, I found this tutorial for beginners.
Julie Sola’s first picture book is Run Fast, Milo! (Spring House Press 2017), also illustrated with linocut prints. This book tells the story of a run-loving pup named Milo. And Ms. Sola’s hand-printed artwork is included in Johnny’s Cash & Charley’s Pride: Lasting Legends and Untold Adventures in Country Music (Spring House Press 2017), written by singer/songwriter Peter Cooper, a senior director at the Country Music Hall of Fame (also worth a visit). And while you’re there, stop by the Hatch Show Print gift shop and pick up a copy of Julie Sola’s books!