cover image Nathan and Nicholas Alexander

Nathan and Nicholas Alexander

Lulu Delacre. Scholastic, $1.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-590-33956-8

Characters from Hayes's books Patrick and Ted and Elroy and the Witch's Child meet in this new collection of stories. Hayes has included his most endearing characters, as well as the crankier ones (sneaky Elroy and sarcastic Granny Crackbaggy). The Lantern Keeper is an old blue bear whose job it is to go from house to house at night, presenting dreams to both children and adults. Patrick meets him in the first story, in which he can't sleep, so he slips out of the house. The Lantern Keeper tells him that his mama is dreaming of strawberries, information that Patrick uses to surprise her the next morning. In another, Linda (the witch's child) is granted a wish and makes Elroy vanish, but misses him so much that the Lantern Keeper helps get him back. These are reassuring stories, well told, with Hayes's pictures providing many humorous touches. (4-8)