Darryl’s Dream by Darryl “DMC” McDaniels (with Sawnee and Johnny Warfield and Adam Padilla), illustrated by Tristan Tait. Random House, 2022. 9780593487747
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Format: Hardcover picture book
What did you like about the book? Hip hop pioneer Run-DMC has become known across the nation for his commitment to speaking with kids about acceptance, responsibility, and self-awareness. In this picture book with a great message, Darryl is a third grader who struggles with self-acceptance and as a result often finds himself the butt of jokes about his “nerdiness” and the fact that he wears glasses. His mom gives sage advice, telling him not to be concerned with others’ opinions but to stay true to himself. That evening, he dreams he can be anything he wants – from a supercharged hot rod to a cool helicopter. Then, he lands in a recording studio and sees an adult version of himself hanging on a portrait wall. He thinks he looks cool in the picture even though he discovers he’s still wearing glasses, even as an adult! His alarm rings, and off he goes to school – invigorated and excited to be himself. Sadly, the bullies do not relent, and torment Darryl as he prepares to perform in the talent show. That doesn’t stop him, though. He nails his performance. Darryl grows up to be none other than Run-DMC, a man who still loves music and continues to teach children to follow their dreams. The illustrations are digitally rendered, and provide a perfect complement to a text that will resonate with all children, especially those who have felt marginalized or different at some point in their lives. It’s an inspiring story that gives hope and builds confidence, something we can all agree is exactly what children need!
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? Elementary aged children will be able to connect with this story. It is perfect for a social emotional learning classroom lesson, or to be read purely for enjoyment. Children will enjoy listening to some of Run-DMC’s age-appropriate music to round out the experience.
Who should buy this book? Elementary or public libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Linda Broderick, Lincoln Street Elementary School, Northborough, MA
Date of review: April 9, 2022