The Dream House

  • Author Laura Dockrill, illustrated by Gwen Millward
  • Narrator Laura Dockrill
  • Publisher Bonnier Publishing Fiction
  • Run Time 1 hour and 25 minutes
  • Format Audio
  • Genre Modern and contemporary fiction.

Listen to a sample

What to expect

Everyone needs somewhere to dream.

Rex has gone to stay with his godfather, Sparky. Rex doesn’t say much but that’s OK because Sparky is always on hand with a cup of tea to enjoy on the sofa, set up outside like an outdoor living room. Rex has his sketchbook, and he draws how he feels even if he doesn’t talk about it. And in Sparky’s garden, hidden under the canopy of the willow tree, is the Dream House: a lovingly created space just for Rex, to dream, to play, to think, to be. A place he’s loved all his childhood. But to go inside now Rex must summon his strength for revisiting the ghosts of his past . . .

An evocative novella revealing a boy’s inner world, accessing his feelings through drawing and reconnecting with the people who love him, told through Laura Dockrill’s vivid storytelling.

Critics Review

  • Little gem . . . Grief and joy in abundance, I found it incredibly moving

    Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  • It looks so slight. Its illustrations promise something gentle and delicate. So I have a feeling that this book may be mistaken as a quick and easy read – and it’s not. It’s something much more memorable, strange… almost grown up. And written in such a beautiful, original style!
    It’s sophisticated, poetic, exquisitely sensitive to nature and sorrow and turmoil and desperation. And rich in metaphors…

    The grass is long and happy.”

    …though it should probably come with a
    WARNING:
    “Now and then, you may not quite understand.
    That’s because this is a book about a boy who can’t quite understand himself.

    Geraldine McCaughrean
  • A beautiful, honest and powerful story exploring the loss of a parent. This difficult topic is handled bravely, with originality and warmth. Rex’s story will break your heart then mend it.

    Tamsin Winter
  • Loved The Dream House, I was in bits by the end. It’s not easy to write about grief and Laura does it so beautifully; it bristles with colour and texture.

    Polly Dunbar
  • Laura is one of the most original and interesting voices in children’s literature and I always look forward to reading any new book she writes.

    Francesca Simon
  • It’s one of those rare books that looks and feels special before you even turn the first page. Laura’s writing and Gwen’s illustrations are a perfect, harmonious marriage of styles.

    Alison Brumwell, Chair of the YLG

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