Illustrated by Peter Sis
For: Grades 2-4 with a wide vocabulary
The first half was quite delightful, the second half didn't catch me quite as well.
Susana lives in Mexico and discovers that a big spotted, crazy-looking bird has stolen her dream before she could find out what happened. The Dream Stealer was only supposed to steal bad dreams, so she is a little perturbed at him. She figures out a clever way to catch him, and convinces him to take her to the place where he keeps all the dreams he's stolen. Once they get there some of the creatures from his stolen bad dreams escape, and Susana has to help put things right.
Sid Fleischman uses great language, interesting similes, and fantastic vocabulary to spin this fantasy/fairy tale. It's quite clever and would make a great read aloud. Play with the words thief/bandit/burglar before reading so that kids understand they are synonyms.