In Dreams to Dance in Moonlight, artist and writer Peter C. Stone looks to inspire young artists and writers with a beautiful picture book that demands slow, multiple readings.
To call Dreams to Dance in Moonlight a “picture book” is a bit of a disservice to Stone. His paintings have been recognized with many solo shows and group exhibitions, and the art in Dreams to Dance in Moonlight is far superior to that of many children’s books. Stone’s paintings feature scenes from the natural world that absorb attention and prompt readers to linger, giving time to process the text on each accompanying page.
That time is needed, because Dreams to Dance in Moonlight reads like just that: a series of waking dreams. Along with the paintings of wolves, whales, meadows, and cows (one strangely compelling painting features a cow inside a rowboat on the water, staring at the reader), Stone weaves language that hypnotizes: “And if you make every act an offering to the souls who dwell in trees…/ Try drawing them pictures and writing them words to ask again, Why?/ Why does what you see make you feel how you feel/ About all that you wonder/ When saying what you think about what you see?”
Throughout the book, Stone repeatedly urges readers to expand their senses, and their sense of their surroundings. It’s debatable how much young children will take away from these words, since much of it might fall flat or prove puzzling, its meaning excessively abstract for this audience.
It’s telling that the back cover of Dreams to Dance in Moonlight gives a category description, just above the ISBN, that reads “Non-Classifiable.” With much to offer young creators and old, the book stands out as clearly unique—not to every reader’s taste, but a volume that will connect deeply and spiritually, with many.
Also available in paperback and ebook.