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Book Reviews

Milt Gross Book Review: "Denny Dares to Dream" by Canaan A. York
By Milton M. Gross
Mar 17, 2013 - 1:30:56 AM

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Denny Dares to Dream is a good, colorful book for kids to encourage them to follow their dreams, although a few words might require help from an older kid such as a parent or teacher. Photo by Milt Gross.
This is a book for kids. But I found it good for me, because I'm still following one of my dreams.

Although I've lived my writing as a job, I still dream of living on my freelancing.

A dream I had as a kid, enjoying the outdoors as a major part of life, I've pretty much fulfilled, except now that I've headed over the hill at 29.5, I doubt whether I'll ever hike the entire Appalachian Trail. But that's only due to a leg's failing to dream enough -- of not limping.

I'm no kid. Neither is the author, who lives in Medway but on the book cover says he would rather live in New York City. A kind of backwards dream, as most people who live in NYC say they would rather live in Maine. Well, maybe not most people.

I wonder if Canaan A. York knows there is a Canaan, New York.

Canaan A. York graduated from Schenck High School in East Millinocket and as a Sociology major from the University of Tennessee. (Neither of which are in or are part of New York City -- still his dream.)

Denny Dares to Dream was published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC, 127 E. Trade Center Terrace, Mustang, OK 73064. From its website, "Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC, is a Christian-based, family-owned, mainline publishing organization with a mission to discover and market unknown authors. We are not a self-publisher in our approach, operation, or philosophy in any way. We receive tens of thousands of submissions and author inquiries each year, but we choose to accept only a small percentage of the authors who submit manuscripts to us. We will look at your work and respond within weeks with our observations."

So, if like Denny, your dream is being a published author, try Tate Publishing & Enterprise, LLC after checking it out at Let me know what happens, and I'll share it with readers.

I think this book is fine for kids around six to eight years of age, but on one page it turns out abaout Denny that " the fall of this year he'd be eleven." I suspect it is best for younger children, although it's been awhile since I've read with or written for such. And I doubt if age eleven means a lot, since it in context is the age that rhymes with seven.

My only criticism of Denny Dares to Dream are a few places where a mild kind of preachiness takes over, such as the first clauses of the very first sentence, which reads, "The first step in succeeding is to believe that you can, and little Denny Dreamer was a boy with many plans."

A tale best should tell its message in the tale itself without making a statement about that message. Other than these few "statements," the book is a good tale with the obvious message that dreaming can lead to fulfillment.

The story uses good simple language with a few exceptions of words that are probably more than six- to eight-year olds would easily grasp, such as "imagination," also on the first page. A few others are scattered throughout, which may mean the young reader will need a bit of help in understanding the tale.

The illustrations are excellent, large, boldly colored, cartoon characters throughout that will no doubt catch those kids' attention. They caught mine.

For kids of all ages, this little book is encouraging if you're seeking your dream.

I remember when I was teaching in a private school, being required to attend a workshop on the middle age crisis, how to handle having either conquered your dreams or having given up on them. My thought was, hey, why am I here? I have lots of dreams to go.

I may have dreamed through part of the workshop.

For those whose dreams are still ahead, especially those in the six to eight year old range, this is a great little book!

I'd recommend the book and not ever giving up on your dreams.

Even if you're younger or older than six or eight.

(Interview with Mr. York at Magic City Morning Star News)

Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2013

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