The Sandman

Rien Poortvliet, Author
Rien Poortvliet, Author Kabouter Products $13.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-56937-130-5
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Best known in this country for his popular Gnomes books, the late Dutch artist Poortvliet also created picture books for children. This import describes the secret life of the Sandman, a twinkly little Santa Claus look-alike who lives in a castle ""high up in the mountains"" with a curious set of friends-some animal, some human. Readers are treated to a peek at the Sandman's nightly routine as he and his helpers prepare the sand and fly it around the globe (on a magical donkey's back, no less), spreading peaceful slumber in their wake. The somewhat formal prose creaks a bit in places, but the stiffness, perhaps a by-product of the translation process, doesn't much hamper the story's flow or readability. Poortvliet has conjured a snug little world, as cozy as a favorite pair of slippers, and although his artwork skates close to the precious at times, its warmth is as unmistakable as that of the crackling fire on the Sandman's hearth. All ages. (Nov.)
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