From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-This slightly overwritten, sumptuously illustrated original folktale continues Joyce's epic series. The Man in the Moon (introduced in the first book as MiM) was the first of the "Guardians of Childhood," and it was he who discovered the others. The Sandman (aka Sandy) spends his time piloting a shooting star and delivering wishes through his constant dreaming. But when the nefarious Pitch, King of the Nightmares, attacks him, he loses control of his star and crashes into Earth. MiM's wish allows him to land safely and to fill his island with dreams. Eventually he awakens, his island turns to a cloud, and he takes on the role of Sandman, protector of good dreams. Joyce's multimedia illustrations are lush and detailed. Sandy's starship seems to actually glow against the starry sky, and Pitch is dark and menacing, his minions black, creepy, and goblinesque. The many full-bleed spreads on dark backgrounds are cinematic in scope, detailed, and a pleasure to view. The text is written in an ornate, old-fashioned way that fits the style of the story but occasionally becomes labored or overwrought. Because of the recent film, there may be requests for this book and the earlier titles.-Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Joyce’s work has always had an oddball charm, even in its most commercial Rolie Polie Olie moments. Both his texts and illustrations are whimsical, with allusions to classic late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century children’s lit paired with swirly nouveau and stylized deco forms. This second in the Guardians of Childhood series opens with the hero of The Man in the Moon (2011) looking for a helper in his endeavor to keep children safe at night. Enter Sandy, aka the Sandman, aka Sanderson Mansnoozie. This rotund ball of baby fat pilots a star until it falls prey to Pitch, King of Nightmares, whose minions Sandy later vanquishes. While the story doesn’t quite have the coherent sweetness of Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo (1995) or The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs (1996), it makes a pleasant nighttime read, and the illustrations of tattooed mermaids, heroic constellations, and the golden Sandy himself are worth poring over time and again. Grown-ups and children alike will savor this book’s rich, old-fashioned charms. Preschool-Grade 2. --Karen Cruze