The Sleepwalkers

Viviane Schwarz. Candlewick, $9.99 paper (96p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6230-1

A tidal wave of mice descending on a town made of cheese, a sea turtle one can ride in like a submarine, a jungle inhabited by creatures made entirely of well-groomed hair. If this sounds like dreamstuff, that’s exactly what it is in Schwarz’s tale of a band of intrepid dream warriors who rescue defenseless sleeping children from nightmares. Bonno (short for Bonifacius), a blanket transformed into a timid bear; Amali, an exuberant sock monkey; and Sophia, a crow made from a writing quill who communicates by writing, are the Sleepwalkers’ newest recruits, learning the ropes from a trio of seasoned sheep. It takes quick thinking and steely resolve to face the never-ending stream of children’s nightmares, from monsters to falling and being naked in school. Can the three rookies handle it? Schwarz (A Place to Call Home) plumbs the depth of her imagination and introduces a world brimming with creativity and personality, if a touch sparse on narrative. Her loose and scribbled art (along with a handful of entertaining diagrams) fits this childlike adventure nicely, and will leave readers dreaming of more. Ages 7–10. (May)