The dream collector comes around at dawn and gathers up each night’s dreams: “city regulations.” What would happen, then, if his truck broke down? Luckily, young Zachary is up early chasing his shaggy dog dream and is able to dig up tools the dream catcher needs. While the dream collector fixes the truck—a nice touch of realism in this fantasy tale—Zachary is sent to gather up the wandering dreams. The zebras he lures with carrots and a lasso. The knight on his steed, the pirates and the dinosaurs all follow behind him in grand parade. When the sun hits the streets, only the dog is still on the loose. This, the dream collector confers on Zachary. With a whoop Zachary grabs his “dream-dog-come-true” and bounds inside to surprise his folks.
While the dreams in the book may be a bit cliché, the story itself is spunky and fun. The inventive text is grandly complemented by snappy, flowing illustrations layered richly in hues of red, green and blue. They flesh out the dreams as well as give full life to the red-haired, spectacled Zachary. Zachary and his dream dog are a perfect match—their shaggy appearances and boundless exuberance will get preschool and early elementary-age readers cheering as the hero and his new pal are paired up for real.
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