Reviewed by Kathryn Duncan
Bruno Dreams of Ice Cream is the first in a series of books based on Zen Tales. There are nine characters in the series each representing a human characteristic such as love, fearlessness or anger.
This story is about focusing attention and not allowing yourself to be distracted. Everyone has an ice cream, except Bruno, and he wants one. This is all he can think about. When his fearless quality is needed to help a friend, Bruno is able to focus his attention on something other than the ice cream. He soon forgets about it and gets what he wants – ice cream.
Nancy Bevington’s illustrations tell the story without any distractions. The colours are earthy; a lot of browns brightened by greens, yellow and red. The square pictures sit beautifully within a pale brown frame on the page.
There are a lot of characters in this story, seven of the nine in the series, but once children become familiar with them, this should not be a problem. This is a book with a subtle message told within a story that children will enjoy. The word length means it is for older children, although younger children might like the pictures. The original Zen Tale is included at the end of the story.
Bruno Dreams of Ice Cream, Bevington, Nancy (illus.), Peter Whitfield (text)
New Frontier Publishing, $19.95, ISBN 0975090712