cover image Bebe's Bad Dream

Bebe's Bad Dream

G. Brian Karas. Greenwillow Books, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-16182-8

Night after night, Bebe dreams that green trolls arrive in a flying saucer, climb in her window and try to devour her. At the dinner table, Bebe's brother, Walter, teases her about her fears (""I'm hungry, please pass the Bebe"") and her friends are bored with re-enacting abduction stories. Eventually Bebe tires of being alone on the playground and of Walter's scare tactics. Using crayons and paper, she creates posters that misdirect the imaginary invaders to her brother's room (""Try a delicious Bebe today"" and ""This is Bebe""). In Bebe's action-packed dreams that night, Walter is kidnapped by distinctly Walter-like monsters. The next morning, when Bebe hears his sadistic greeting (""Mmmm, Bebe and waffles for breakfast!""), she is disappointed--Walter is not actually gone--but she now knows that the aliens were indeed only a nightmare. Karas (Saving Sweetness) allows Bebe her malicious fantasy, which banishes the aliens and wreaks revenge on pesky Walter. The artwork smoothly differentiates between reality and fantasy by using gray pencil with gentle lavender and pale yellow wash for waking moments, while flooding dream scenes with delirious yellow, woozy purple and thick spinach-green. The pictures do a great deal to carry the story, so the text consequently seems overlong. Ages 5-up. (Apr.)