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The Dreamkeeper


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Written in the form of a letter to his granddaughter, Ingpen's fanciful picture book chronicles an imaginary being who "catches the creatures of our dreams when they escape to reality" and returns them to a place called the Dreamtree. In less able hands, such a premise could rapidly decline into New Age-ish nonsense; instead, myth and lore collide to create a promising fantasy. Mystical, dreamlike and occasionally nightmarish, Ingpen's detailed illustrations blend pencil sketches and watercolors to flesh out the imagery evoked in his hand-lettered text. He shows the elaborate traps used by the Dreamkeeper; the shoes with the special backwards soles to mystify those who would try and track him; the charms, tokens and lures that are his stock in trade‘even the solar-powered remote control used by his goblin assistant to "unwind invisibility." Sharp-eyed readers will recognize some familiar faces among the inhabitants of the Dreamtree‘the Frog Prince, Long John Silver and the White Rabbit, among others. A most unusual book, with the same sort of appeal as Wil Huygen's Gnomes (1977). Ages 8-12. (May)

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