Born into a wealthy family, Yoko had everything except time with her busy parents and a true friend. Writing wishes and hanging them on the tree branches near the local temple helped her feel less alone. After surviving through war, she would make her way to New York and this is where she would meet John Lennon. Together they dreamed of a better world, a world in which the world could live in peace, a world in which the world could live as one…
Rather naively, I associate the name Yoko Ono with John Lennon and loved this child-friendly introduction to a lady who deserves to be recognised for her own achievements and not merely as the lady who was married to a famous member of The Beatles.
As always, Little People, Big Dreams offers a really accessible, engaging and informative introduction to Yoko Ono’s life including her relationship with her parents and how her lifestyle choices ultimately led to them disowning her, her lonely life as a child, the family’s wartime escape from Tokyo in 1945, her move to New York, her impact on the performance and visual arts scene and her relationship and work with John Lennon.
What I love about Yoko’s story is the message about being yourself even if it makes you seem different. She only ever wanted to be herself and was not afraid to say what she thought or express herself in her own way. Being different and having different views and ideas is a wonderful and beautiful thing. Every child needs to hear Yoko Ono’s words, ‘You can change the world by being yourself.’
Yoko has always been driven by a desire to do something better for the world and believes in causes that promote peace. Through the song ‘Imagine’ written with Lennon and the ‘Imagine Peace Tower’ that she created after his death, she has helped provide the platforms for others to help change the world. In her words, ‘A dream dreamt alone is just a dream, but a dream dreamt together becomes a reality.’ What another fabulous message for children to hear and to hold on to.
The story is told in short and simple sentences and is delightfully illustrated with bright and bold artwork. At the back of the book there is a short overview of her life so far which includes key facts and dates and a historical timeline featuring photographs.
With thanks to Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for the copy that was received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 5+.