Last year, I published my book for children, The Dream Guardian. A reader, Jonathan Taylor (JT), he of the Buzludzha murder mystery, has sent me an unsolicited review of the book. Here it is, with his permission.
The Dream Guardian
Reviewed by Jonathan Taylor
With delightfully presented cover and beautifully written, well-crafted dialogue, The Dream Guardian by Ben Bennetts is a book that represents so much more than the title at first suggests. We soon enter the secret world of dreams and magic, but the relationships between the family, particularly the storytelling Grandfather, are for me, the driving force behind the narrative. This is a book that offers so much more than one at first expects. For me, it’s a book that parents and children read together, containing puzzles to solve and a host of new words to learn. It soon becomes clear – it is a collection of bedtime stories but also a valuable educational resource for the younger enquiring mind. Although much of its content is directed at the younger end of the children’s novel market, many aspects of this work are appropriate for the older child, teenager and even adult. It is appropriate for all ages and contains something for everyone.
Exciting chapter titles soon explain what is to come, and they are often more exciting than the overall title itself. We find a host of weird and wonderful characters: GoBadly Goblins, fairies and even Picketty Witch – who remains my particular favourite. Indeed, I sense that Picketty will soon have a novel all of her own! There are only two downsides to this work, but not in any way sufficient enough to impede my enjoyment of it. Grandpa at times is a little old-fashioned – and there are some outdated stereotypes that reflect his age – a product of a different generation. But, such text is appropriate to what Grandpa would be saying in the context of the overall story and authentic intention of the author. And included are many computer-generated images that I feel don’t truly reflect the absolute brilliance of the wording within. This is forgivable given the self-published nature of the work. Do not let these fool you into believing the work to be amateur in nature – it is certainly not.
The Dream Guardian brought me immense pleasure – I couldn’t wait to read on and find out the next secret, page after page. It is a book that will inspire you, make you think, make you laugh and also educate you. It is thoroughly exciting from beginning to end. Five stars: and congratulations to this exceptionally talented writer.
Jonathan Taylor (JT) – British singer, songwriter and novelist
In response to JT’s review, I penned and sent him a new story about Picketty Witch, his favourite character in the book. If you are interested to read about Picketty Witch and the Malodorous Cackleberries, you can download a free PDF here. Enjoy!