The Dream Pillow

The Dream Pillow

by Mitra Modarressi

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a distinctive style marked by understated hues and delicate but powerful drawings, Modarressi ( Tumble Tower ) tells of a pillow that induces bad dreams. The mildly sinister object and the matter-of-factness with which the characters accept its powers recall classic fairy-tale formulas, the chief difference being this story's contemporary setting. Celeste thinks Ivy is ``very stuck-up,'' but when she attends Celeste's birthday party, Ivy politely offers Celeste a lavender velvet pillow. Celeste's antagonism intensifies when she suffers nightmares three nights in a row, so she remakes the pillow to look like a stuffed animal and presents it at Ivy's own birthday party (``Celeste wanted to bring a present as scary as the one Ivy had brought her''). Wracked by guilt, Celeste later tells Ivy what she's done, and a logical solution transforms the pillow's negative energy so that pleasant dreams for both girls--now friends--result. Despite the nightmares in the plot, the illustrations are not at all frightening; gentleness and a sense of quiet flow throughout the book. Dusky hues of blue, green and pink dominate, and the effect is of an overcast day, albeit a magical one. Mildly dramatic but also calming, this bedtime book enhances Modarressi's reputation as an artist with a unique vision. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Celeste dislikes her neighbor, Ivy, because she thinks she is stuck-up, and the two girls walk to school on the opposite sides of the street. The chilly relationship worsens when Ivy's birthday gift to Celeste is a pillow that Celeste believes induces nightmares. For Ivy's birthday Celeste, in turn, remakes the ``dream pillow,'' gives it back and hopes that it will scare Ivy. When Ivy evinces the effects of sleepless nights, the conscience-stricken Celeste confesses. Ivy, unaware of the pillow's effects, consults her mother, who made the pillow from an old recipe for a ``Daisy Delightful Dream Pillow.'' She divides it into two smaller pillows; the girls sleep over together and find the pillows now have the beneficial effect of giving them happy dreams that they talk about when they walk to school together. Modarressi's illustrations are distinctive, surrealistic watercolors in unsaturated shades of calm but melancholy mauves and lavender blues. The book is peopled with odd children whose faces, which carry the most weight in the illustrations, are waiflike and pale, looking strangely alike. The main characters are insufficiently realized and therefore easily confused. Stranger still is the matter of the pillow itself. While the text speaks of realistic childhood concerns like friendship, birthday parties, and school, the pillow is said to be ``magic.'' There is little grounding for this shift to fantasy. The original premise is well intentioned, but it is scarcely a comfort to young readers to reflect on the fact that a pillow could cause nightmares.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.32(w) x 10.06(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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