A bear who dines nightly on children’s nightmares can’t stomach a particularly pleasant dream.
Every night the Night Bear comes into town on a bus and eats the bad dreams of children who are deep in sleep. The monsters and spiders and scary storms that torment kids’ thoughts are delectable to Night Bear. “Scary pirates being mean taste like strawberries and cream.” But one night, when the Night Bear unwraps a less-nightmarish meal—unicorns and rainbows—he sets off to find someone who might want this disgusting stuff. Tom, a boy who’s still up, is happy to exchange his spider and snake for the unicorns, and Night Bear goes back to his bear friends with the story of his first encounter with a fur-less human child. The frightening meals are approachably toothless as written and illustrated by the de Moraes, and Night Bear is wide-eyed and cuddly, with a big heart-shaped belly. In its curved corners and moonlit scenes, the artwork couldn’t be more inviting, and Night Bear’s choice of meals is obviously a much-needed public service, as any child would agree. The front endpapers offer detailed origami instructions to make a takeout box for Night Bear, while the rear endpapers depict a bevy of tasty nightmares. Tom presents white.
Whimsical, light, and soothing, like a pretty good dream that Night Bear would surely never eat. (Picture book. 4-9)