Monday, December 23, 2019

Dreamland, by Julia E. Clements (author) Kae Denino (narrator)

Pink Quill Books, ISBN 9781987152678, September 2018

Daniel Green is a perfectly ordinary young English boy. That his father died about a year ago doesn't, at first glance, make him any less ordinary.

What does, is that on his tenth birthday, his mother gave him a "silver ticket," which when placed under his pillow at night, takes him to Dreamland. In Dreamland, he meets fascinating friends--Tom the gnome, who runs a game booth on the fairground that Danny's imagination has created, and Lucy the fairy, whose parents run a sweet shop on the same fairground, among others. Dreamland isn't entirely safe, so there is adult supervision--a boy-sized cricket called, not Jiminy, very slightly to my disappointment, but--here I have a small problem. I listened to the audio, and heard the name as Argyll, while at least one other reviewer either heard or read it as Argit. The book starts off with a series of fun adventures--but greater challenges are coming for Danny.
Danny has a great time, but he has been warned that Dreamland isn't completely safe. Other kids have Dreamlands, too, and no one is allowed in anyone else's Dreamland because if the child whose Dreamland it was woke up, the visiting child would be trapped. To prevent this, the Dreamlands are separated by the Dark Forest, which is populated by trolls, giants, and other dangerous monsters.

There is also a dangerous, evil witch, Stregona, and an even darker, more dangerous monster that has followed Danny in from his waking world.

And the longer Danny refuses to deal with his own dark inner problems, most notably his grief and feelings of guilt over his father's death, the more powerful and dangerous that intruder gets.

This is an exciting, fun adventure story for kids in the right age range, and it deals with some important issues in an age-appropriate way. Recommended.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publisher via StoryOrigin, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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