Siri Siqveland is a 15 year old, 9th grade Honors English student at Meadowdale High School in Edmonds, WA. She read Jazzie’s Dream on May 12, 2020]
Siri’s critique of “Jazzie’s Dream”:
After hearing that the story was about ‘going vegan/vegetarian’—which my best friend since third grade has recently done—and protecting farm animals, I wondered how the author would approach this topic in a way that would be safe for children.
I was concerned that it would be too scary when I reached the part in the story where Jazzie approaches Backward Land, a place where animals are farmed in different ways for humans to eat (like here and now). However, the darkest part of the story, with the mother pig and her piglets, was handled delicately enough that it could be viewed by small children. The illustrations are well-done and gentle and the story is definitely child-appropriate.
My favorite part of the story is when Jazzie first met dream Bizzy and their first interactions. I think little kids would enjoy the story and the illustrations and it would help older figures in their lives to breach the topic of animal-cruelty, sustainability, as well as other life-style choices people can make.
As a kid, I remember my papa reading, Beatrix Potter’s “Rolly Polly Pudding” and being worried (in a suspenseful way) when the rats roll Tom Kitten up in a pastry to make him into their dinner. Though, “Jazzie’s Dream” did not make me feel worried for Jazzie and Bizzy in the way that I did for Tom Kitten. All in all, I feel this book could be used to help children understand some choices people make about their life styles. “Jazzie’s Dream” is a story about making choices that could lead to a better future for farm animals for sure, and possibly a better future for people too.