Written by the winner of IBBY's Best Book Award, Mohammad Hadi Mohammadi, In the Meadow of Fantasies is one girl's luminous escapade into a land of seven mysterious horses.
A young girl with a physical handicap gazes up at a mobile of spinning horses from her little pink bed in her room filled with leafy plants. As she watches them prance about, the tufted snout of a real live horse peeks through her bedroom door. Soon enough, our bright protagonist is off and cantering on an adventure with seven majestic horses. The first six are easily understood: their colors, dreams, families, and origins are described and accompanied with exquisite drawings. The seventh horse, however, is an enigmatic creature with no clear hue or history, a lack that is soon filled in by the loving offerings of the other ponies.
A story about dreaming and about caring for others, In the Meadow of Fantasies will remind young readers of their own reveries and conjure new fantasies of friendly creatures in far off lands.
Not a folktale, not a poem, not a dream, but some whirling mixture of the three, this lulling recitation by Iranian author Mohammadi affirms generosity as a natural impulse. A paper-white girl in bed beside a wheelchair imagines into life the seven horses of a mobile that hangs above her. Straightforward lines categorize the dot-eyed equine beasts: "The first horse was white./ The second horse was black/... But the seventh horse had no color at all." Illustrator Safakhoo represents the girl, the horses, and their exploits in finely hatched ink lines and muted colors. With droll humor, she draws a large aboveground pool in which the horses bathe to give a patch of their color to the seventh horse, whom the girl pushes in off a diving board: "Now the seventh horse was of every color." The seventh horse has no home, but the others give it parts of theirs; the seventh horse has no dreams, but the others share theirs, and the transformation slowly brings color to the girl's world. Repeating phrases and softly amusing drawings give this imaginative realm of loving-kindness a gossamer touch. Ages 3-7. (Nov.)Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.