When twelve-year-old Maya Clayton’s sleep expert father invented a special device that allows you to slip into other people’s dreams he was excited at the prospect of discovering more about the human imagination. What he did not plan was for his villainous boss of Somnia Incorporated, Lilith Delamere, to trap him in a nightmare from which he cannot escape.
Maya isn’t the only one who needs to stop Lilith, siblings Teddy and Bea have uncovered a terrible plot that involves their mum. It is time to assemble the Dream Bandits. But can they take down Lilith, shake-off General Pheare, defeat a crack squad of security goons, stop the dastardly plan and bring Professor Dexter back…
This madcap adventure could have only been dreamt up by the crazy minds of Greg James and Chris Smith, the duo behind the brilliant Kid Normal series. Their latest book, The Great Dream Robbery, is part science-fiction, part mission impossible, part mystery that needs solving and a whole lot of fun.
The whole thing revels in silliness and prides itself on being utterly bizarre and riotously outlandish, no-one does story-telling this ridiculous better than James and Smith. Along with the non-stop story, there are zany fonts, ridiculous songs, appearances from the Chief Puffin - head of Puffin Books, made-up words, authors directly addressing the reader and encouraging them to read certain parts aloud and black and white illustrations all adding to the fun. The story may be about dreams and sleeping but there’s not a chance that kids will be falling to sleep whilst reading this, expect laughs and giggles long past bedtime.
Hilarious hijinks are in abundance as the three plucky kids, who are desperate to save their parents, dash in out of dreams, carry out daring hospital heists, encounter banana loving llamas and let their imaginations run wild in an epic battle finale complete with Phantasma Plasma, a breakdancing, beatboxing unicorn named Donald, line-dancing robots and a lot of custard. In amongst the madness there are subtle nods to facing up to fear, tackling things head on and putting demons to bed.
Honestly, I could sleep for days and not dream up anything nearly half as good as this. Brilliantly bonkers, wonderfully wacky and the kind of read that many children will thoroughly enjoy getting lost in!
Recommended for 8+.
With thanks to Greg James, Chris Smith and Penguin Random House for the advanced reader copy that was received via NetGalley.