In this picture book, Susie, a young Aboriginal girl, has a school assignment to complete, titled ‘What I Want to Be When I Grow Up’. The problem is she doesn’t know. At night, she dreams of painting stars and fish in rainbow colours. The reactions from her family members to her dreams reveal interesting differences. Her parents suggest the dreams are linked to Susie’s future career; her siblings mock her; her grandmother reassures her and, in the pages that follow, gently prompts her to discover what her dreams mean.
The story celebrates the strong intergenerational bond between grandmother and granddaughter. The pair sit and draw together. They also head into the bush as a family where Gran points out the wonders and shapes of nature. A final dream reveals what Susie wants to be – an artist. Gran supports her, while Susie’s parents seem initially reluctant. The ending, which sees Susie win a school art competition, highlights the importance of following your dreams.
This is a longer style picture book with a combination of narrative and dialogue that flows easily from one page to the next. Eye-catching illustrations in vibrant colours feature the story’s characters outlined in thick black. Repeated patterns and natural objects fill each double page spread.
‘In Your Dreams’ was written by Sally Morgan, who belongs to the Palkyu people of eastern Pilbara in Western Australia and illustrated by Bronwyn Bancroft, a Bundjalung woman and artist. They are two of Australia’s best-known Indigenous picture book creators.