Dream Friends

Learning Tips for "Dream Friends"

As you read:

  • This book has gorgeous, incredibly detailed illustrations. Encourage your child to notice each scene. How can you tell Melody is dreaming? Are clouds really purple? Ask your child to share his/her observations with you. And of course, this book gives you a wonderful opportunity to discuss emotions and friendship with your child. Ask your child about having felt left out at school. Does s/he ever imagine s/he is somewhere else? What does s/he like to do with friends?

Extend the story:

  • Melody's best imaginary friend is a giant dog. Ask your child to describe an imaginary friend s/he would like to have. Would it be an animal, a person, or another creature altogether? Get out crayons and paper (or get fancy with more crafts), and create this friend! You can help guide your child, but give him/her space to create. To encourage this, you can draw alongside your child, describing what you do as you go, as a source of inspiration.


Other Useful Tips

Before You Begin Reading, Preview the Story and Discuss

Take a moment to explore the cover and illustrations and give your child a chance to make observations and predictions before beginning the read-through. Throughout this guide, there are several questions and prompts that you can use as you read, so feel free to spread them out across multiple readings. Use prompts and questions like:

  • What is happening on the cover?

  • What do you think the story will be about based on the title and the cover?

  • {Flip to an illustration} What do you think is happening in this picture?


As You Read, Explore New Vocabulary

Whether you're reading the story or your child is reading it him/herself, take time to stop whenever s/he comes across a new word. Read the word slowly several times as you underline the word with your finger. Then, ask your child what s/he thinks the word might mean. Instruct him/her to use the words and illustrations surrounding it to try and glean the meaning. Work together to discover the word's meaning, and then try to integrate it into your daily conversation to help reinforce these new vocabulary words. 


After Reading, Make Connections

To ensure comprehension, ask your child about what happened in the book. Who were the main characters, and where were the primary settings? What happened and why did those things happen in the story? Ask your child the following questions to further explore his/her understanding of the book:

  • Did you like that story? What was your favorite part? Why?

  • What lesson do you think the main character(s) learned?

  • What does {vocabulary word} mean?

  • {Discuss alternatives to the storyline} What would have happened if...?

  • I wonder why...