cover image The Dream Stealer

The Dream Stealer

Sid Fleischman, , illus. by Peter Sís. . Greenwillow, $16.99 (96pp) ISBN 978-0-06-175563-7

The duo behind the 1987 Newbery winner, The Whipping Boy , reunites for this whimsical tale that mixes fantasy and reality to heal a broken friendship. Susana fights with her best friend just before Consuelo Louisa moves to Guadalajara. Lonely and sad, Susana dreams of a happy reunion, but her reverie is interrupted when the Dream Stealer—charged with rounding up monsters and demons from nightmares so people can sleep—makes off with the blissful scene. Determined to get her dream back, clever Susana traps the Dream Stealer and forces him to fly her to the castle where the botherations he's lassoed from dreams are kept under lock and key. Fleischman's rich prose and understated humor make for easy reading; the loss of a friend, a magical journey to set things right and an empowered heroine are emotionally right on target for the audience. Sís's full-page b&w drawings often render Susana incongruously passive, but his depictions of the rest of Fleischman's oddball cast are livelier and the overall effect is a handsome package. Ages 9–up. (Sept.)