Monday, September 26, 2011

Children's Book Review: The Sandman by Ralph Fletcher

By Ralph Fletcher; illustrated by Richard Cowdrey
Henry Holt and Company, LLC; $16.95
32 pp.; ISBN-13: 978-0805077261


Where did that little piece of sand in the corner of your eye come from? That’s easy—the Sandman. It all started a long time ago when a tiny man named Tor discovered that a dragon’s scale held magical powers. Ground dragon scales make magic sand that Tor sprinkles in the eyes of children to help them fall asleep. But how does he get the scales to make the special sand? He has to venture into the lair of a dragon, and that’s no easy feat! This imaginative telling of the legend of the Sandman combined with fantastical, illuminating pictures will be enjoyed by the whole family.

My Review:

Out of all the books I have read to my daughter this summer, I have to say Ralph Fletcher's, The Sandman, is my favorite.  What a great fairytale to read to young children, who wonder about the Sandman.  In this story, the Sandman is a little man who travels around sprinkling sand over children's eyes (and also his own) to help them fall asleep.  Ahh, the power of magical sand to put a child to sleep.  I wish as a parent I was given a small bag of magical sand for those nights that I can't get Savannah to go to bed, or the Sandman forgets to visit me, and I find myself tossing and turning.

I knew we were in for a treat just by looking at the magical and beautiful front cover to this book.  And, the illustrations inside were just as amazing and eye catching.  You really felt the story come alive with the turn of each page.  What a great fantasy/fairytale to read to your little one at bedtime. 

This was the first book I read from Ralph Fletcher, but I will definitely be checking out his other works.  Thanks, Ralph for a great family classic, that will be read and cherished for years to come!

About the Author:

Ralph Fletcher is a friend of young writers and readers as well as writing teachers. He has written or co-authored many books for writing teachers including Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide, Teaching the Qualities of Writing, Lessons for the Writer's Notebook, Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices, and Pyrotechnics on the Page: Playful Craft That Sparks Writing. Ralph has worked with teachers around the U.S. and abroad, helping them find wiser ways of teaching writing.

Ralph's many books for students include picture books (Twilight Comes Twice, Hello Harvest Moon, and The Sandman), novels (Fig Pudding, Flying Solo, and Spider Boy), poetry (A Writing Kind of Day and Moving Day), and a memoir, Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid. His novel Uncle Daddy was awarded the Christopher medal in 2002. He has also written a popular series of books for young writers including Poetry Matters, Live Writing, and A Writer's Notebook. Ralph lives with his family in New Hampshire. He is a strong environmentalist who believes we all must work together to live in a more sustainable way. His other passions include travel, good food, dark chocolate, growing orchids, and sports.
Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book by the author in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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