The Great Dream Robbery by Greg James and Chris Smith
|The Great Dream Robbery by Greg James and Chris Smith|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Gloriously silly, and full of fun! This is a brilliantly imaginative adventure story.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416||Date: September 2021|
|External links: Author's website|
Maya's father is a professor who invented an amazing dream machine. But something went wrong, and now he can't wake up. Or at least, that's what Maya has been told. In a rather strange dream one night Maya makes a new friend, and discovers that the only way to save her dad may be by being asleep. Cue one madcap action adventure story where dreams and reality collide...really...and there's everything from llamas and bananas, dream machines made from hairdresser cast-offs, to a talking cat called Bin Bag!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's escapist and daft and just a whole lot of fun all the way through. It's really well written, which surprised me since it's two people writing together. You really don't think about that fact as you read it though, as it's all seamlessly done. I think the fact that Greg and Chris were friends to begin with, and are really just playing together in writing these stories, is what makes them work so well. There are lots of authorial asides throughout, and those were my favourite bits, some of them making me laugh out loud as I read.
You find yourself caught up in the book right from the very start, and they maintain the pace throughout. I felt like the language was pitched well for this age group, and the mixture of jokes and silliness worked for both children and adult readers too. The plot is a fun idea, and it's well thought out with a great 'baddie' in Lilith Delamere and enough threat that it's exciting, but not too much, so it's still readable at bedtime! Maya is a likeable lead character, and the dream bandits provide a lot of humour to the story too. And I really liked that the kids are good kids, being heroic but actually just having a blast too, and it felt like a properly imaginative, escapist read.
It's wonderful to read aloud too, full of funny voice opportunities and silly moments galore. There are also lots of fun illustrations throughout, making it a really good book for children who are growing as confident readers but are still a little reluctant to move to a longer, more intimidating chapter story. I had intended to read it aloud all the way through to my son first, but I found once I'd picked it up and started reading, I didn't want to stop, so I'm afraid I raced on by myself! Don't worry, he'll get his turn next! Definitely recommended, for children around the age of 9 and upwards (and their parents too!)
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