Nighttime dreams ward off the pull of deep sleep in Hakkola and Ahokoivu’s jubilant graphic novel.
Amid the thick snow, Livi and Nate play, sled, toss snowballs, and tease. Grandpa struggles to continue shoveling, so Mom calls everyone in from the cold. After a bit of tidying up, some hot cocoa, and a bath, it’s time for bed. Noises from outside frighten Livi, who wakes up an annoyed Nate. Could it be the snow animals they made earlier? Mom reassures them that everything will be OK (cue Livi: “Make sure you check!”), and Livi falls asleep and dreams of a tea party. Oh no! A snow bear named Teddy interrupts the tea and cakes, asking for Livi and Nate’s help! Using some quick wits and a very long scarf, Livi saves Daphne the dragon from incoming spring. The dream rolls happily along until a “BLING” wakes Livi up. What could it be this time? The ensuing narrative follows a similar pattern: sleep, dream, noise, and investigation. The Finnish creators’ words convey a certain degree of playfulness that cements the bond between Livi and Nate above everything else. Similarly, their artwork—saturated with sheets of colors, arranged in spreads of sequential actions with occasionally dissonant frames—exemplifies the pale-skinned pair’s nervy energy, even if readers may get lost among the hijinks at times.
Raucous fun at the sound of midnight. (Graphic novel. 6-9)