Review Blog

Apr 29 2013

The sleepwalkers by Viviane Schwarz

cover image

Walker, 2013. ISBN: 9781406323597. 93 pp. Ill.
(Ages: 9-13) Graphic novel. Do you have a bad dream that will not go away? Are you afraid to sleep at night? Write us a letter, put it under your pillow . . . and we will come and save you! That gives a fairly accurate overview of the plot of this adventure story which uses sarcasm and left-of-centre humour combined with imagination and detailed illustrations to draw the reader into this parallel world. The old sleepwalkers have reached the time where they need to return to the waking world but before they go they must raise three new sleepwalkers to replace them. Who would save children from their nightmares otherwise? Ergo three new sleepwalkers are raised and must learn the ropes before the old sleepwalkers continue on their journey. The characters have distinct and unique personalities captured through humourous dialogue and detailed illustrations. They are faced with difficult missions to save children from their nightmares and battle dreams of complete darkness, a sunken world, animals made of hair and the classic dream of being naked in public. They must work together and capitalise on the skills of each other to ensure they can rescue the child and get back to the safe house for a cup of tea.
A somewhat complicated storyline and some hard-to-follow dialogue make this graphic novel suitable for a slightly older age range. This is far from a fast-paced action adventure novel and is more about the depth of the characters, their uniqueness and how they work together to conquer the dreams they land in even when they are afraid themselves. The inclusion of a banana milkshake recipe (to get you through the tough times) is a nice addition, especially the advice that instructs 'don't use milk of animals you don't know'. Beautiful graphics and full colour make this a nice addition to offer the growing crowd of graphic novel fans.
Nicole Smith-Forrest

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