A sister and brother find adventure in the land of dreams in this debut middle-grade novel.
Ashlynne and Julian are twins. On the evening of their eventful 10th birthday party, they sneak into their neighbor’s house in search of their cat. Instead, they find two magical blankets: black with blue and white glitter, deep as the night sky. On an impulse, Julian takes the blankets. He and Ashlynne fall asleep, and when they wake they are no longer in the real world; instead they are in Dream, a fantastical realm shaped by all the wondrous fancies of sleep. Ashlynne eventually sees the two blankets "fluttering away" in a strong wind. But Dream itself is in danger. It has been abandoned by its ruler, King Morpheus, and is being encroached upon by creatures from the dread twin realm of Nightmare. Without Morpheus, Dream will be overrun. But if Ashlynne and Julian can’t find and return the blankets to him, Morpheus will be trapped in the real world, just as the siblings will stay stuck in Dream. But all is not lost. With the help of a merry bunch of pirate leprechauns, the twins set out in search of the missing blankets. There is an ethereal quality to Marcotti’s writing, a sense that the plot and its protagonists are being carried along at the whim of dream logic. The action unfolds around them, yet if Ashlynne and Julian remain for the most part observers in their own story, there’s no denying that Dream is somewhere very much worth drifting through. Like Neverland, this place of pure imagination holds a strange and special allure. Its creatures are gloriously fanciful—the leprechauns in particular follow their own quirky rules—and the book’s intended effect overall must be to spark young minds. Certainly, Marcotti conjures a memorable image: Even in the twins’ real world, there is considerable magic to behold in the sight of Mr. Fuzzybottom (the opportunistic and serially offending cat) creeping stealthily up to roost and fall asleep on Uncle Charlie’s head. Fast-moving and easy to read, this gentle tale should present middle-grade readers with an ever shifting panorama of possibilities.
A wild but safe ride, far away but never too far from home.