________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 14 . . . . March 12, 1999

picture Sweet Dream Pie.

Audrey Wood. Illustrated by Mark Teague.
New York, NY: The Blue Sky Press (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 1998.
30 pp., cloth, $21.99.
ISBN 0-590-96204-3.

Subject Headings:

Kindergarten-grade 2 / Ages 5-7.
Review by Helen Arkos.

*** /4


"I haven't slept a wink tonight," Pa said. "I've been craving apiece of Sweet Dream Pie, just like the one you made me long ago."

The last time I made that pie you ate too much," Ma grumbled. "And your dreams weren't sweet."

Pa Brindle blew the cobwebs off the trunk, then threw it open - and all the cats in the neighbourhood opened one eye.

An enormous mixing bowl, a great rolling pin, a gigantic pie pan, and a small brass bell glistened in the lantern light.

"I'll be good this time," Pa promised. "One big piece of Sweet Dream Pie, that's all I want."

"Well then ... I'll make it, and you help," Ma agreed. "But if things get out of hand, don't blame me."

picture Well, with an opening like that, you know things are going to get out of hand - and they do. Imagine a giant pie made with all the sweet stuff you could possibly find in a well stocked kitchen cupboard: gumdrops, marshmallows, candy corn, chewing gum, chocolate drops, butterscotch, licorice sticks, sugar cubes, candy sprinkles, cookies and more. We're talking sweet! The whole neighbourhood is affected by the creation of this amazing pie. It takes all day to bake and, coincidentally, it is so hot that day that nobody even bothers to go to work - "even Mary Chub, who had never missed a day at the library in fifteen years." Everyone invites themselves over for dessert that evening, and, despite admonitions from Ma Brindle, they eat helping after helping of the delicious pie. Some don't even make it home to their beds before they fall asleep and dream of outrageous creatures who begin to fill the streets of their neighbourhood. Even the cat dreams of a giant grey mouse covered in red polka dots.

      Audrey Wood's story is as rich and colourful as the pie itself. Never scary, the story unfolds its dream-like quality. The vivid use of colour in Mark Teague's dynamic illustrations allow readers to feel the heat of the afternoon and then the coolness of the evening after the pie is out of the oven. The pages look delicious awash with the colours of Smarties. Even the dream creatures look like jellies. Sweet Dream Pie would make a good bedtime story for those not troubled by nightmares. Not so good for those plagued by the midnight munchies.


Helen Arkos is the teacher-librarian at John Pritchard School in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364