Thursday, September 7, 2017

Book Review: 'Danny and the DreamWeaver' by Mark Poe

New York author Mark Poe (aka Rich DiSilvio) is a man as committed to music, art, philosophy and sociology as informed by the fine arts, has published many books that cleverly bind history with philosophy – MEET MY FAMOUS FRIENDS, A BLAZING GILDE CAGE, MY NAZI NEMESISM, HATRED AND INTEGRITY, TALE OF THE TITANS, LISZT’S DANTE SYMPHONY, THE WINDS OF TIME - each proving to us the depth of both his knowledge and his sensitivity to the human condition and foibles. Now he publishes his first book for young adults and middle graders – DANNY AND THE DREAMWEAVER – and proves to us that he has a PhD in punsterism and character manipulation that results in a book so rich in humor – and thought – that it is bound to become a best seller. The man uses a nom de plume for this book but his wisdom and humor shine through as the Rich DiSilvio we all appreciate.

The book is full of plays on words, concepts, names and in all is a hilarious trip through time at the hands of a lad and his accompanying ‘creature that addresses youngsters in a novel manner of teaching history that is as successful as book informing adults. He couples this with his superb illustrations (beginning with his ‘author’s portrait in his new bio, usurping both the last name and image of Edgar Allan Poe.

‘Mark’ describes the book’s content best – ‘Danny is a grumpy video-game junky who daydreams in school and has a life-long rivalry with his neighbor. Yet he soon finds himself ensnared in a bizarre dream controlled by Nostrildamus, an odd-looking creature with a humongous nose and no eyes yet can oddly see into the future. Taken on a time-traveling hunt to solve an art-related mystery, Danny meets strange-looking artists, like Hippopotamus Bosch and Michelanjello, while Nostrildamus "the DreamWeaver" imparts subtle pearls of wisdom. When Danny awakes, he is struck by an epiphany that will change his life. Packed with dry humor, a mystery, and zany-looking artists, Danny and the DreamWeaver is an imaginative adventure of criminal intrigue and art history that demonstrates the importance of looking at life differently. Danny and the DreamWeaver is a creative tale involving time travel, art history and fantasy, while demonstrating how visionaries, like Steve Jobs, Salvador Dali and Albert Einstein, placed more emphasis on imagination than knowledge, whereby prompting readers to think differently. Moreover, one sees how Danny evolves from a teen concerned only with playing violent video games and being a callous rival to his neighbor to one who begins to expand his horizons and learns the meaning and benefits of compassion.

This book is unique and hopefully the first of many that help youngsters (and adults!) about our history and legends and art and compassion in one of the most enjoyable new books available today. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, July 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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