The Best in Children’s Books: Fanny’s Dream
Reviewed by H. Wallace Goddard

The best children’s books delight, entertain, and refine us. They teach us great lessons while snuggling us. They speak to adults while fascinating children.

Caralyn and Mark Buehner have created just such a book in “Fanny’s Dream.” Fanny, a sturdy farm girl, hardly seems to be the likely candidate for the leading roll in a romance. And Wyoming hardly jumps out as the likely setting. A story filled with pioneer sodbusting hardly seems like the likely place for joy.

Fanny Agnes dreams that she will marry a prince–or someone like that. She hoped her fairy godmother would hook her up. “If it could happen once upon a time, it could happen again.” But as she dreamed of romance, no fairy godmother showed up. Instead Heber Jensen proposed to her. How could she marry short, ordinary Heber? It was hard to walk away from her dreams yet she chose farm life over fancy life. Her life with Heber was filled with children, hogs, chickens, and struggle. Years later her fairy godmother does show up but by then her dreams have changed. Her surprise response to the magical invitation is a classic.

This beautiful story captures our hearts. All of us have dreamed. We, like Fanny may have wondered why our dreams go unfulfilled. Caralyn Buehner transforms dreams of romance into visions of love. The story is one of the best affirmations of marriage that you will ever read. The story is a simple one that can be read in minutes. The message is a timeless one that can bless us endlessly.

The illustrations by Mark Buehner are warm and luminous. Many a reader will enjoy finding cats, rabbits, dinosaurs hidden in the shadows and puddles. There are also ducks, mice, elephants, and dancers to be found in the clouds.

“Fanny’s Dream” is fun to read. It makes a person rejoice in the gift of sight. And it gives each of us a nobler dream. It is a book that everyone should read.

Buehner, C., & Buehner, M. (1996). Fanny’s dream. New York: Dial Book for Young Readers.



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