OPINION: New children’s book available at Celebration Village

“A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”
– Chinese Proverb

October is one of my favorite months. It’s kicked off each year by Julie Andrews, Jimmy Carter and me, as we celebrate our Oct. 1 birthdays.
October also means it’s time for Celebration Village.
When folks who don’t know ask what Celebration Village is, I tell them it’s Tupelo’s version of Mistletoe Marketplace and money raised benefits an incredible place – Sanctuary Hospice House.
The 8th annual Celebration Village starts Wednesday with a Preview Party. Then it’s time to shop like crazy from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday. It all takes place out at the Furniture Market in Building V.
As always, there’ll be places to have lunch or dinner to replenish your energy for more shopping. There will be entertainment to soothe the savage shopping beast during breaks.
And more than 130 vendors will offer all manner of gift ideas for everyone on your Christmas list.
Laurie Parker will be among those 130-plus people. If you’re not already familiar with her, Laurie is an artist and children’s book author from just down the road a bit in Starkville.
She’s now the author of 11 books and, yes, she’s bringing her brand new one to Celebration Village.
“The Sweet Dreams Book” is a wonder to behold – no matter your age. If you love words and have even the slightest appreciation for art, this book is a must-have.
Knowing her window of opportunity was soon to close on the possibility of a new book this year, Laurie said she went through a brainstorming process.
“I sat with a notebook and just wrote down a list of subjects,” she said. “When I wrote dreams, I knew that was a good choice, for several reasons.
“I thought of how fun it would be to illustrate, because there are no restrictions on dreams and it just seemed like a good story for children’s bedtime.”
Laurie the poet begins her book:
“This is a book you should read before bed
To put hints for beautiful dreams in your head …”
And then she takes off, with page after rhyming page of all manner of the good stuff of dreams.
Each page’s words are accompanied by Laurie’s illustrations, amazing collages bordered by a literary quote on, you guessed it, dreams.
So, you’ve got dreamy poetry with colorful, detailed illustrations and great quotes all in one book.
But that’s not all.
At the end of the 32-page book, you discover the author has hidden an angel in each of her illustrations for the reader to find.
I’m here to tell you it isn’t all that easy. But the search for the heavenly hosts is more than half the fun.
Buy a copy of “The Sweet Dreams Book” for every child you know, then get one for yourself.
They’ll be available from the author at Celebration Village.
Go forth and shop.
Christmas is coming.

Contact Leslie Criss at leslie.criss@djournal.com or (662) 678-1584.

Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal