The Children’s Book Review | March 28, 2014
By Andrew McLeish
Paperback: 58 pages
Age Range: 7 and up
Publisher: Austin Macauley (February 28, 2014
What to expect: Bedtime, Sleep Trouble, Siblings, Fears, Adventure
In The Sandman, author Andrew MacLeish has written an enchanting tale about a sleepless boy and his fearless little sister. William tries to sleep but he can’t, his little sister sleeps like a log. All his family’s tricks—drink water from the wrong side of the glass, count sheep, drink a glass of warm milk, hold your breath—haven’t helped. And the relentless tick-tock of his alarm clock, a gift from his grandfather, makes him dread the coming morning. He tosses and turns and fidgets all night just waiting for the alarm to blare at 7 am.
On a particularly magical night, William meets his personal sandman and realizes that he’ll never get to sleep unless he takes matters into his own hands. (His sandman is supposed to ensure that he gets enough sleep every night but this particular sandman has some crippling fears that are interfering with his appointed duties.) William’s little sister Sophie jumps at the chance for adventure and goes off with William on his quest to get some shut-eye. They journey to a far away land and meet lots of fantastic characters—but none as surprising as the monster that steals people’s sleep. William has to find a way to stop the sleep monster but a series of mishaps and blunders threaten to derail William’s plan—will he ever get to sleep?
This charming story is perfectly suited for reading at bedtime—and best geared to readers aged 7 and older. Young readers will enjoy reading the story on their own but its comedic styling also makes it fun to read aloud. It is a dangerously exciting story but has a soothing end. The rhythm of the words and the playful tone of the story help to put bedtime fears to rest.
Add this book to your collection: The Sandman, by Andrew MacLeish
About the Author
Andrew McLeish (b. 1967) was born in Edinburgh, and grew up in Bathgate, then Anstruther. He studied philosophy at Edinburgh University, and has spent most of his adult life working in Communications. His interests include football, snooker, classical music, shirking responsibility, and being bone idle. The Sandman is his first children’s novel.
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