CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 19 . . . . January 23, 2015
And so Abby (as told in her first person narration), her brother Jonah and Abby’s sleepwalking friend Robin are sucked through the mirror into the land of fairytales landing in the story of Sleeping Beauty. Unfortunately, Robin pricks her finger on the spindle before Brianna (the princess) has a chance to do so, making it impossible for Bri to fall asleep and for the fairy tale to unfold as recorded by Perrault (18th century) or Grimm (19th century).
This situation requires Abby and Jonah to devise a plan whereby they can wake Robin, help Bri fall asleep, find a magic portal and return with Robin to their home before Robin’s mother comes to pick her up.
Dream On is a good romp through fairytale land with a king, queen, carriage, castle, abbey, servants, faeries, commoners and rose gardens. There are some deviations from fairytale land, such as a younger brother for Princess Brianna – Prince Felix, garage sales, commomer t shirts and a drum set.
Though Dream On is an easy read, complete sentences are not always part of the text (as one can see in the excerpt) and again on page 50, “Then on Bri’s cheek.” One may find this consistent with the first person narrative, but I found it jarring and bothersome.
There is also an editing glitch found on page 50. Abby and Jonah are trying to wake Robin and put Bri to sleep. This involves a lullaby which is not very successful. At this point, Bri suggests Abby hum instead: “I nod. Then I hum. Robin closes her eyes. I keep humming. Hummmmmmmm.” Robin is already asleep at this point, and it is obviously Bri (not Robin) who closes her eyes.
There are other things that are jarring to an adult reader, as mentioned, the juxtaposition of fairytale land with modernities. One that leapt out at me was a drum set sitting next to a harp in the ballroom (p. 107). This was an anomaly to me as I have a daughter who plays the harp and one who plays drum set. This juxtaposition is often a source of conversation with our friends, and so it really struck me as problematic in fairytale land. However, I think these distinctions would go relatively unnoticed by the younger readers and, if noticed, would likely add to the humour of the piece.
This offering is entirely plot driven with characters showing up to move things along as needed.
Dream On is not great literature. However, if you can stomach the grammar errors and the inconsistencies in fairytale land, this would be a good choice for those looking to develop reading skills or for one looking for an easy, fun romp.
Recommended with Reservations.
Ruth McMahon, who is a professional librarian working in a Middle School library in Alberta, has two teenaged daughters.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.