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The Sandman and the War of Dreams (The Guardians #4) by William Joyce

I have enjoyed the Rise of the Guardians series and so grabbed the latest release,  The Sandman and the War of Dreams, from the library just before vacation.

When the Man in the Moon brought together the Guardians, he warned them that they would face some terrible evils as they strove to protect the children of earth. But nothing could have prepared them for this: Pitch has disappeared and taken Katherine with him. And now the Guardians are not only down one member, but a young girl is missing.

Fortunately, MiM knows just the man to join the team. Sanderson ManSnoozy—known in most circles as the Sandman—may be sleepy, but he’s also stalwart and clever and has a precocious ability to utilize sand in myriad ways. If the other Guardians can just convince Sandy that good can triumph evil, that good dreams can banish nightmares, they’ll have themselves quite a squad. But if they can’t…they might never see Katherine again.

It turned out to be a great addition and perhaps my favorite of the series so far.  I was furiously reading it in the van as we started our vacation.  Interesting characters and some tension filled plot twists make filling in the back story on the guardians, and this particular guardian, a fun ride. [some spoilers ahead]

As I have noted each time I review a book in this series, they are more chapter books in style than YA Fantasy.  There is less world building and detail and more reader imagination and action.  That said, I really like the flow of this volume. It starts with the story of Sanderson Mansnoozie aka The Sandman, brings in the other guardians, and reminds us of the tension with Katherine being captured by Pinch.

Then Sanderson tells his story (via dream of course) and his interaction with Pinch’s daughter, and thereby Pinch, who becomes Mother Nature. This whole section, highlighted by its white type on black paper design, is very well done. It really highlights Joyce’s ability to spin imaginative yet simple tales with fascinating characters.  There is a great sense of mystery and magic lurking behind these stories; they seem like mythology weaved from shared memories and folklore. Just different enough to hold your interest but with enough shared ingredients to already be a part of your imagination.

These threads then connect as Sandman and Nightlight seek to save Katherine and they do; in ways that change them forever.  Even as all of this is going on, Katherine helps Nicholas embark on his dream which in turn will play a role in her rescue and its seems a happy ending for once … But even with all the power of the guardians, Pinch manages to turn things to his favor – as he always seems to do.

And we are left once again waiting for the next book.

But so it is with great series.  And this is one I am very fond of.  I have a feeling this will become something of a classic in our family. Moving from bedtime read aloud stories to exciting reading for young readers to a favorite shared by everyone.

And it is a bonus that they are beautifully designed and illustrated and so that much more fun to have in your library.

If for some reason you haven’t checked out this great series, I recommend it.  For even younger readers, the picture books are great too (The Man in the Moon and Sandman)

 

The Sandman and the War of Dreams (The Guardians #4) by William Joyce

I have enjoyed the Rise of the Guardians series and so grabbed the latest release,  The Sandman and the War of Dreams, from the library just before vacation.

When the Man in the Moon brought together the Guardians, he warned them that they would face some terrible evils as they strove to protect the children of earth. But nothing could have prepared them for this: Pitch has disappeared and taken Katherine with him. And now the Guardians are not only down one member, but a young girl is missing.

Fortunately, MiM knows just the man to join the team. Sanderson ManSnoozy—known in most circles as the Sandman—may be sleepy, but he’s also stalwart and clever and has a precocious ability to utilize sand in myriad ways. If the other Guardians can just convince Sandy that good can triumph evil, that good dreams can banish nightmares, they’ll have themselves quite a squad. But if they can’t…they might never see Katherine again.

It turned out to be a great addition and perhaps my favorite of the series so far.  I was furiously reading it in the van as we started our vacation.  Interesting characters and some tension filled plot twists make filling in the back story on the guardians, and this particular guardian, a fun ride. [some spoilers ahead]

As I have noted each time I review a book in this series, they are more chapter books in style than YA Fantasy.  There is less world building and detail and more reader imagination and action.  That said, I really like the flow of this volume. It starts with the story of Sanderson Mansnoozie aka The Sandman, brings in the other guardians, and reminds us of the tension with Katherine being captured by Pinch.

Then Sanderson tells his story (via dream of course) and his interaction with Pinch’s daughter, and thereby Pinch, who becomes Mother Nature. This whole section, highlighted by its white type on black paper design, is very well done. It really highlights Joyce’s ability to spin imaginative yet simple tales with fascinating characters.  There is a great sense of mystery and magic lurking behind these stories; they seem like mythology weaved from shared memories and folklore. Just different enough to hold your interest but with enough shared ingredients to already be a part of your imagination.

These threads then connect as Sandman and Nightlight seek to save Katherine and they do; in ways that change them forever.  Even as all of this is going on, Katherine helps Nicholas embark on his dream which in turn will play a role in her rescue and its seems a happy ending for once … But even with all the power of the guardians, Pinch manages to turn things to his favor – as he always seems to do.

And we are left once again waiting for the next book.

But so it is with great series.  And this is one I am very fond of.  I have a feeling this will become something of a classic in our family. Moving from bedtime read aloud stories to exciting reading for young readers to a favorite shared by everyone.

And it is a bonus that they are beautifully designed and illustrated and so that much more fun to have in your library.

If for some reason you haven’t checked out this great series, I recommend it.  For even younger readers, the picture books are great too (The Man in the Moon and Sandman)

 

Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies by William Joyce

In case you haven’t been scoring at home, I picked up The Guardians series (in a box set actually) because I liked the picture books that inspired them and wanted to be prepared for the movie. Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies is the third book (following Nicholas St. North and E. Aster Bunnymund).

Beware a tooth fairy queen scorned in this, the third chapter book of Academy-Award winner William Joyce’s The Guardians series. There’s a lot more to this tooth-swiping sprite than meets the eye!

Now that the back story of Nicholas St. North has been told, and the mysteries of E. Aster Bunnymund have been revealed, we can permit you to meet one of the most riveting, mysterious Guardians of all time: the Tooth Fairy.

Do you want in on a few of her secrets? Well—she can spin herself into a multitude of selves, all depending on nightly teeth-placed-under-pillows rates. And her diminutive size is not at all indicative of how fierce a warrior she can be—Pitch, the Nightmare King, that nefarious villain and the Guardians’ nemesis, who loathes all things good, has no idea what he’s up against. And be forewarned: If you try to stay up to spy on her nocturnal pursuits, there’ll be Spell to pay.

We present to you Her Serene Royal Highness, Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairies, The third Guardian.

Not surprisingly, this volume is much like the others. Full of imaginative adventures and characters, with creative wordplay and mythology and a sense of humor (often with tongue firmly in cheek).

E. Aster Bunnymund and the Battle of the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core by William Joyce

To recap, I have enjoyed the work of William Joyce for some time and decided to read his Guardians of Childhood series after having enjoyed the picture books and with the release of the movie.  Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King was the first volume.

And this imaginative series continues with E. Aster Bunnymund [get it?] and the Battle of the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core.

Forget the bunny trail. E. Aster Bunnymund is on a warpath. In this second chapter book in William Joyce’s The Guardians series, sometimes you have to crack a few eggs.

Pitch, the Nightmare King, and his Fearlings had been soundly driven back by Nicholas St. North and company in the first Guardians’ adventure. But now Pitch has disappeared completely—and out of sight does NOT make for out of mind. It seems certain that he’s plotting a particularly nefarious revenge, and the Guardians suspect he might have gone underground. But how can they find him there?

Enter E. Aster Bunnymund, the only emissary of the fabled brotherhood of the Pookas—the league of philosophical warrior rabbits of imposing intellect and size. Highly skilled in martial arts (many of which he invented himself), Bunnymund is brilliant, logical, and a tunnel-digger extraordinaire. If the Guardians need paths near the Earth’s core, he’s their Pooka. He’s also armed with magnificent weapons of an oval-sort, and might just be able to help in the quest for the second piece of the Moonclipper.

This second book in The Guardians series is about much more than fixing a few rotten eggs—it brings the Guardians one step closer to defeating Pitch!

Like the first book, this is really an action driven story with interesting characters and imagery but not a great deal of depth.  They are fun, fast paced, and very visually orientated .  There is a lot of silliness and word play but also a sense of mythology and mystery.

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King by William Joyce & Laura Geringer

I have enjoyed the work of children’s book author William Joyce for some time.  I have read a number of his book to my children; from Dinosaur Bob to Wilbur Robinson to Rolie Polie Ollie.  More recently, I really liked the imagination and creativity of the Guardians of Childhood picture books (The Man on the Moon and Sandman). Oh, and my kids liked them too.

So when the movie release caused me to realize that there was a chapter book series inspired by the picture books I thought this would be a good time to read them.  So I used a coupon and picked up the box set.

I have been enjoying the series so far.

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