The Boy and the Cloth of Dreams

3.75 avg rating
( 12 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781564023490: The Boy and the Cloth of Dreams

In a mystical parable, a boy sleeps peacefully under a brilliant quilt made by his grandmother, until the cloth accidentally tears, nightmares escape, and the child must find within himself the courage to mend the tear.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3-At birth, a boy is given a beautiful quilt by his grandmother. She has made it to keep away the dark things of the night, but only until the child is "big enough to forge his own courage." When he accidentally tears the quilt, nightmares rush out at him while he sleeps. Terrified, he searches for his grandmother's room so that she can repair it, but first she sends him on a journey to the roof to obtain threads from the moon and the sun. She then repairs the "cloth of dreams," reminding the boy that he no longer needs it now that he has forged his own courage. The book starts off promisingly, with gorgeous endpapers of the quilt. The remaining illustrations are disappointing, however, especially in the lack of detail in the characters' faces-they never seem to change their expressions. Mayhew's images are dark, and the drawing of a frightful hag dropping the boy into the gaping jaws of a huge fish is enough to scare both adults and children. This story is far more likely to cause nightmares than to alleviate them. Jim Aylesworth's The Bad Dream (Albert Whitman, 1985) presents a much more sympathetic treatment, as does Audrey Osofsky's calming and poetic Dreamcatcher (Orchard, 1992).
George Delalis, Chicago Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A lyrical, dreamlike tale with more truth than many a realistic story. When the boy was born, his grandmother made him a cloth of dreams to ``keep the dark night things away...until he is big enough to forge his own courage.'' Now, going to visit his grandmother, he accidentally tears the precious cloth. His mother is sure that his grandmother will mend it, but the boy forgets to ask her. That night, nightmares--his first ever--send him scurrying across the dark hall to find her; and mend it she does, after he fetches ``threads from the sun and threads from the moon,'' which (with some trepidation) he reaches from the rooftop as the moon sets and, in dramatic simultaneity, the sun rises. And so he forges his own courage. The potent imagery is strengthened by the simplicity of the graceful telling, while Mayhew deepens the meaning with glowing night scenes in stained- glass colors and gentle, Ardizzone-like characterizations. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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