KidLit: Althea’s Window Box and the Land of Slumber by Jason Britsas
In a story illustrated with the wondrous watercolors of Mason Parker, Jason Britsas invites us to enter the world of Althea, a city girl with big dreams. Althea may live in an apartment in the city, but in those dreams she visits wide open spaces.
When the school bus drops Althea at her grandmother’s apartment building after school, Althea goes up to her grandparents’ flat, does her homework and chores, then spends time on a window seat with her friends (stuffed animals and such), where she looks out over a window box filled with colorful flowers, and reads about exotic places.
Althea’s favorite stories are in picture books of “the beautiful world, the stars, sun and the moon...about far away places, mountains, rivers and trees...” She hopes to visit them all someday, but is content--for now--to visit them in her dreams. The window seat is cozily cushioned, and its blankets and pillows are warmed by the sun. It’s not long before Althea naps and dreams.
With Althea, we visit forests, mountains, deserts, and valleys perfumed by flowers.She rests her feet in a shallow stream filled with fish and frogs, and Althea dreams what she would see if she were a fish. She finds her way to the top of the world, but soon her grandmother’s voice calls her back to wakefulness and supper. At supper she will share her dreams.
Althea’s Window Box and the Land of Slumber is a peaceful tale which takes young readers to a world of beauty and tranquility, a world they too can reach in their dreams.