Kirkus Reviews QR Code
SWEEP DREAMS by Nancy Willard


by Nancy Willard & illustrated by Mary GrandPré

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-316-94008-9
Publisher: Little, Brown

As in all their work together, both Willard’s words and GrandPré’s art strongly express a feeling of “anything is possible”—even that a man could fall in love with a broom discovered in a grocery store. At first, he rapturously treats it as a decorative piece only, but when it begins to pine away, he takes a doctor’s advice to use it; soon he and broom are sweeping gracefully about the house—and it isn’t long before the broom begins dancing on its own. This naturally draws a group of admirers until one day a stranger steals the broom away. Using colored pencil and oil washes, GrandPré casts her lovers in stylish poses amid swirling lines and puffs of golden dust; the broom, with its red straws and crooked handle, has as much presence and character as any of the human figures. Recovered at last, the broom stands inert until the man allows it to sail out to sweep away “all the stars from the floor of the night”—save one, which he leaves in the window “to light her way when she wants to come home.” Readers inclined to look for the metaphor will not be disappointed—but neither will those willing to take this sweet, if unlikely romance at face value. (Picture book. 7-9)