Cover of "The Sandman" by William Joyce.

Cover of “The Sandman” by William Joyce.

The Sandman by William Joyce is the second picture book in his Guardians of Childhood series. This book focuses on the origin of the maker of dreams and granter of wishes. It starts with Captain Sanderson Mansnoozie who pilots his own star around the universe. Every time somebody wishes upon is star, he sends them a dream in return.

Unfortunately, the Nightmare King and his Dream Pirates were determined to rid the universe of sweet dreams and Sandy simply had to go. In a cosmic battle between good and evil, Sandy escaped certain death, but set himself on a crash trajectory towards Earth. A thousand sweet but greedy wishes greeted his crashing star, but one wish alone was for him. The Man in the Moon saw his plight and wished him well, and since Sandy granted wishes, he let this wish come true.

Although The Man in the Moon seemed to lack focus, this second picture book doesn’t suffer from the same problems. This is because the story doesn’t cover as much material—the strength of picture books. Beautiful, colorful illustrations carry the child reader from familiar territory covered in the first book to new undiscovered worlds as Sandy finds a new calling in life in his battle against evil.

Joyce makes excellent use of splash pages with many illustrations crossing over the fold. His drawings are as whimsical as ever. My favorites scenes were the splash page of the Sandman sleeping and the splash page where the sleeping Sandman has one shoe half off. These little details make for a delightful picture book reading experience.

A good picture book has a clean and simple story accompanied by visually interesting illustrations. The Sandman is such a picture book. You can tell that Joyce has an affinity for his characters because that love comes through page after page in the faces and quirky details he adds to the illustrations. This is definitely a good fantasy picture book to pick up for your kids.

Release Date: October 2, 2012 (USA)
ISBNs: 1442430427 (9781442430426)
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

MySF Rating: Four point zero stars
Family Friendliness: 100%

Content:

Alcohol/Drugs: 0
Language: 0
Sexuality: 0
Violence: 1 (more scariness than violence)


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