Darryl’s Dream – Beyond the Book

Did you know Darryl “DMC” from the legendary hip hop group Run DMC published his first children’s book in January 2022? We got to meet icon himself this week and he signed our copy of Darryl’s Dream!!! DMC shared that this is the first book in the series and there will be much more to come with his partnership with Nickelodeon. Young readers can even tune in to the show, “What’s the Word” on Noggin to hear DMC teach new vocabulary words and their meanings through rap.

Thanks to the Charlie and Tonja Ward Family Foundation all of our local elementary schools and library branches will have copies of Darryl’s Dream. We even got to talk with him about Maya’s Book Nook, the Beyond the Book guide (shown below) that was created to go along with Darryl’s Dream, and the importance of diverse children’s books.

Bookshop and Amazon affiliate links are included in this post.

Book Summary

As a shy young boy who wore thick glasses and loved music and writing, Darryl was often teased by his peers. When the school talent show came around, Darryl decided to sign up to share his poetry. Unfortunately, a group of bullies changed his mind and he removed his name from the list. That night, Darryl had a dream which made him realize the most important wish is to be the best version of himself. Darryl’s dream allowed him to find his voice and to no longer worry about what others thought of him.


4 – 8 years

Before reading the story:

  • Discuss what you see on the cover of the book.
  • Make predictions on what the story may be about and discuss what you think Darryl is dreaming of.
  • Talk about what you dream of becoming when you grow up or a place you would like to visit.
  • Discuss how the author was a member of the legendary rap group, Run DMC. Search Youtube to listen to songs performed by Run DMC or google images to see his trademark glasses.

During the story:

  • Read the book aloud to your child.
  • Make predictions about the text based on the illustrations.
  • Provide definitions and connections for any of the target vocabulary words that may be unfamiliar.
  • Make connections to personal life experiences while reading to activate background knowledge.
  • Ask questions throughout the story to help your child comprehend what is being read.
  • Have your child repeat unfamiliar words.

Example Questions:

  • What did Darryl’s teacher want him to perform at the talent show?
  • How would you feel if bullies treated you the same way Darryl was treated?
  • Darryl didn’t like his big glasses. Can you think of something nice to say about a part of yourself that you sometimes don’t like?
  • Why didn’t Darryl feel happy when he was hanging out with the mean kids in his dream?
  • How would you respond if you saw a classmate or friend being bullied?
  • At the beginning of the story, Darryl was shy. How would you describe him at the end of the story?
  • Tell me about a time when you felt most confident.

Target Vocabulary

to read out loud or say something from memory, usually in front of an audience
feeling unable to succeed or achieve something
to fall asleep
supplied with more air or fuel than normal to increase power
a car that has been upgraded to be faster or more powerful
a form of something that is different from other forms
a room where music is performed and recorded with singers or instruments
a person who creates or develops new ideas, products, or ways of doing something

After reading the story:

  • Have your child retell the story in their own words using the pictures.
  • Write a poem describing all of the things you love about yourself.
  • Create a vision board to share your biggest dreams using magazines, newspapers, art supplies, and any other materials available.
  • Listen to music by Run DMC and select one song you like best. After listening several times, try to recite the lyrics to one verse or the chorus.

We hope you all enjoyed going Beyond the Book with Darryl’s Dream! You can download a printable version below.

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