Katie and the Dream-Eater

Takamado, Author, Hisako Takamoto, Author, Princess Takamado, Author Oxford University Press, USA $18.95 (28p) ISBN 978-0-19-279005-7
Wildsmith's (The Cherry Tree) dazzling, rainbow-hued compositions spark this somewhat labored fantasy from Japan. From the ""land where all the fantastic creatures live"" comes a baby baku, a ""shy creature that eats up bad dreams."" But when the baby baku fights off and devours young Katie's nightmares, it finds itself grounded on the earthly side of the girl's dreams. Katie wakes to find this magical playmate in her bedroom and helps him adjust to life in her world. Happily, the baku family and its parents are ultimately reunited--but not before the baby baku sees Katie and other children through some tough times. While it contains a cast of characters and creatures poised for amazing adventures in dreamland, Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado's tale never quite takes off. Her story line feels disjointed and her style lacks the suspense or emotional impact needed to capture the imaginations of young readers. Wildsmith's watercolors, however, are another story. Ripe with Asian motifs and saturated in an array of vibrant colors, his paintings depict a fanciful landscape that youngsters will love to explore. Images of Chinese dragons and the baku, which looks a bit like Dumbo in clown garb, are especially memorable. But it's likely that readers will not find the glittering illustrations magical enough to compensate for the book's stiff price. Ages 8-up. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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