A winner of the Lazarillo Award, the prize in Spain for children’s literature, Aliaga weaves a tale translated into English with mixed results.
Wimmer’s pictures are surreal and dreamlike: colors soft and deep; pigs with wings and pirates piloting tea cups and beds that turn into camels. Figures are stretched and elongated and change their shapes like Alice with the mushroom. The red-haired, golden-eyed child says, “Every night before I go to sleep, she sits down on my bed with heaps of stories in her hands.” "She" is a figure with endless tendrils of black hair and bright blue eyes. When the girl is on a Ferris wheel in a sweet story, she rises up in a starlit cloak to hand the child some cotton candy. For a magical story, the child’s bed is in a tree, and disembodied hands hold her, teaching her “to sing and fly.” At the end, “the night sits on my bed, with heaps of dreams in her hands,” cradling the tiny child, bed and all. The mother/storyteller/night image is lovely in pictures, but some of the language is ungraceful or obscure: “I’m always the main character,” or “in search of a mirage....”
While the dreamlike nature of the images is fairly accessible, children (and adults) may find themselves stopped cold by nonrhythmic sentence structure. (Picture book. 5-8)