Dolphins Keep Me Safe in Dreams

A new picture book poem by Ed Boxall


ISBN 978-1-78280-310-2

36 pages, fully illustrated throughout. 16 x 22 cm, £6

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Three friendly dolphins rescue a little girl from her nightmares and take her sailing across the sea on her own ‘barrel boat’. The cat comes too, providing some homely humour on the epic night time voyage.

dolphin 10

The other world we find is personal, full of emotion and a bit strange. The island of Dinkerdire is a huge suburban garden where the little girl finds her ‘dear departed grandad’. It’s just the heaven a child might imagine for a much missed grandparent. Later we find a goblin who collects socks in a forest of doors and Corfe Castle transported to an island where unicorns play in its ruins. This is a sea voyage like no other.

sample 2

It’s also a story about stories- it has a sense of our shared story land that exists in the far distant past and far across the sea. Unicorns speak to the little girl of this mythic place but she never remembers what they say in the morning- to remember would diminish the mystery.

The mystery is also there in the rich textural illustrations and the darkness and shadows on every page. The subtle illustrations are to linger on and return to again and again.

sample 3

The evocative language leads us to our own daydreams. We can imagine the comforting sound of the stars like ‘a friendly murmur of radio song’ and what ‘nameless nowheres not yet begun’ look like. It’s a great book for school, with many starting points for creative work. Children could create their own voyage to their own islands, describe what they think the unicorns say, or find out about the mythology that inspired the book- dolphins, unicorns and Celtic sea-voyage stories.

The dolphins guide us home to the final message that there is a way out of fear; there is the power of good in the night; there’s a way home.

missing dolphin 2

The story will appeal to infants in need of a scary-but-comforting bedtime story. The book is equally satisfying for older children and adults who will enjoy the subtleties in the illustrations and finely crafted verse. This is Ed’s most ambitious and magical book and there’s no other books like it.

Dolphins Keep Me Safe in Dreams

36 pages, fully illustrated throughout. 16 x 22 cm, £6

buy now button

sample 1

Review by Elaine Chant in ‘Carousel’, The Guide for Children’s Books:

dolphins carousel review

…and some comments from readers:

“The book is wonderful. It made me cry (in a good way).” (from a grown-up reader)

“Such a tender lullaby, which set us both at peace” (from a mum reading with her daughter)

“It’s a book for all ages, as children are not the only ones who can lie awake with wide-open eyes, imagining things that make them too scared to sleep” (from Hastings Online Times)

4 Comments on “Dolphins Keep Me Safe in Dreams”

  1. Susan bedford Says:

    Is there a version of this lovely book for boys please? I bought this book for my grandson but when I opened the packet and found it was about a girl I didn’t think it would resonate with him. Do you have the same book with a boy as the character? Thank you, Susan

  2. Rob Says:

    Hi Ed, If I ordered some prints would the arrive by Christmas? Thanks, Robert

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