I Dream of Popo

I Dream of Popo cover
I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne. Illustrated by Julia Kuo

By Livia Blackburne
Illustrated by Julia Kuo
Roaring Brook Press, 2021
40 pages

Ages 3-8

“I dream with Popo as she rocks me in her arms. She sings beibei xin, beibei gan. In my heart I hear: My baby, my heart. My baby, my love.” As a young girl in Taiwan, the narrator describes the many things she does with and for Popo (“I tell Popo about my adventure … I walk with Popo in the Park … I bow to Popo on New Year’s Day”). But there are clues that big changes are coming: The little girl’s family is moving. In San Diego, the girl continues to connect her activities to Popo (“I talk to Popo from across the sea … I think of Popo as I meet new kids”). Time passes and the little girl grows bigger. By the time her family makes a trip back to Taiwan, the girl can’t speak her original language as fluently, but her mother tells her she can still hug Popo as tightly as before. As the girl gets even bigger, there are more changes, some bittersweet as Popo ages, but love is the constant. A narrative brimming with warmth follows two distinct storylines—the girl’s changing life, and her ongoing relationship with Popo—creating a single, seamless whole. Beautiful, detailed digital illustrations reflect the specifics of character, family, setting, and culture in an artful, inviting picture book concluding with notes from the both the author and artist. ©2021 Cooperative Children’s Book Center