The Dream Stair

written by Betsy James

illustrated by RJ Watson

HarperCollins 1990


Betsy James and Richard Jesse Watson have created a book filled with images and emotions of a child's day, and the security of a granny's love.

The Dream Stair, with it's poetic text and evocative illustrations, awaits all young travelers who are about to begin the universal nighttime journey. 


Seasoned editor, Linda Zuckerman, encouraged a freer style for this book. I appreciated her insights and experience. 

"When it gets dark,

I go to bed

and my granny kisses me good night,

'Sweet dreams,' she says...

'Go up the stair,

go down the stair,

and tell me all about it 

in the morning.'"

So begins the adventure of a little girl who climbs the dream stair--first up, past chimneys, balloons, and trees to the special attic room with the moon at the window; then down, past furnaces, rivers, and roots to the dark safety of the cellar room; and then, finally, back to bed. 


One of the several letters received from author, Betsy James, responding to my request for thoughts on the story. 

Preliminary study for The Dream Stair.