Lois Lowry has twice been the recipient of Newbery Medals and has written many popular books for children.
Lowry's poetic, fanciful story of tiny, elfish "dream-givers" who put nighttime imaginings into the heads of human sleepers is not an ideal choice for audio. The many lyrical, detailed descriptions of the dream-givers gathering "fragments" of memory by touching objects and then weaving them into dreams become overlong and slow-moving when read aloud. Likewise, Twomey's soft, soothing voice fits the subject matter, but may well lull young listeners off to dreamland. Twomey does an excellent job of distinguishing her voice for the different characters, particularly an angry, abused boy and the kind elderly woman who fosters him temporarily, both of whom are strengthened by the healing dreams they are sent. Overall, however, this is a less-than-satisfying listen. Ages 10-up. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"Lowry's prose is simple and clear. This carefully plotted fantasy has inner logic and conviction. Readers will identify with Littlest, who is discovering her own special talents. . . . A beautiful novel with an intriguing premise."-School Library Journal, Starred
Gr 4-7-A lonely old woman and John, a troubled boy, connect and gain renewed feelings of optimism and friendship in this lovely story by Lois Lowry (Walter Lorraine Books, 2006). The title character, initially named Littlest One, is a dream-giver one of the tiny creatures who bring good dreams to humans and animals. The inquisitive creature is first taught by Fastidious but drives the cranky teacher mad with her constant questions and humorous hijinks. Thin Elderly takes over Littlest's training and they successfully concentrate on the old woman and the boy. By touching objects in the house that belong to each character, the dream-givers absorb happy memories associated with those items and bring these remembrances into the people's dreams. The dream-givers polar opposites, the terrifying Sinisteeds, are after John, who is in foster care because of an abusive home life. It is up to Littlest to protect John from the potentially permanently damaging nightmares that he is given by the Sinisteeds. Anne Twomey is a superb narrator for this imaginative and dreamy story. She easily conveys the old woman's patience and gradual understanding of what the boy has experienced in his unhappy life. Listeners can hear the gradual lessening of John's anger in Twomey's voice. Her pacing is superb, and she has a wonderful ability to convey the lightness and yet gravely vital personalities of the dream-givers. An excellent recording of an intriguing novel.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.