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THE DREAMKEEPER by Robert Ingpen


by Robert Ingpen & illustrated by Robert Ingpen

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-698-40036-4
Publisher: Minedition/Penguin

Written as a letter to his granddaughter and full of lovely rhetorical and visual flourishes, Ingpen describes the fellow “who catches our bad dreams when they try to escape to become real.” He spins out a tale of the search and capture methods of the Dreamkeeper, his goblin Tally, who used to use a sword but now has a powerful remote control, and his sister, who makes syrups and potions to aid him. The images in this oversize volume echo and riff upon many icons, from Vermeer’s girl with a pitcher to garden gnomes, from Bosch to Rackham. The pictures range from full-page, fully finished works to stark white backgrounds where smaller images go from the palest hint of a sketch to fully realized and imagined. Toward the end of the tale, double spreads of astonishing creatures populate four wordless pages, but these do not include the fairies, who, we are told, cannot be caught. Many authors have produced less than good results trying to make a homespun family tale into a published creature; this one works. (Picture book. 5-8)