Characters from Hayes's books Patrick and Ted and Elroy and the Witch's Child meet in this new collection of stories. Hayes has included his most endearing characters, as well as the crankier ones (sneaky Elroy and sarcastic Granny Crackbaggy). The Lantern Keeper is an old blue bear whose job it is to go from house to house at night, presenting dreams to both children and adults. Patrick meets him in the first story, in which he can't sleep, so he slips out of the house. The Lantern Keeper tells him that his mama is dreaming of strawberries, information that Patrick uses to surprise her the next morning. In another, Linda (the witch's child) is granted a wish and makes Elroy vanish, but misses him so much that the Lantern Keeper helps get him back. These are reassuring stories, well told, with Hayes's pictures providing many humorous touches. (4-8)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Nicholas Alexander is a mouse who moves into elephant Nathan's toy chest. Can they learn to cooperate in sharing space in the chest, and open up to the possibility of a friendship together? The concept of sharing, although at the heart of the story, doesn't dominate the scene, and never surfaces in the form of a lesson. Young readers would be more likely to focus on aspects of the mouse-elephant relationship, or to be intrigued over possible occurrences inside their own toy boxes. Delacre's pastel colors and soft-looking shapes are soothing and flowing . There is a sweet dreamy aura to the whole thing. Each page receives an individualized and imaginative layout, promoting both interest and eye-appeal. A book that is attractive, funny, and stimulating to the imagination in a gentle, subtle way. Liza Bliss, Fitchburg Youth Library, Mass.