Book Review: William Joyce’s The Sandman

Posted September 17, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: William Joyce’s The Sandman

The Sandman


William Joyce

fantasy, picture book that was published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers on October 2, 2012 and has 44 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Second in the Guardians of Childhood fantasy series. The focus in The Sandman is all about dreams and where they come from.

My Take

This would be a good story for children with nightmares — or who need a fascinating idea for a Halloween costume!

Joyce has one heck of an imagination, and I do have to wonder if I should have read Man in the Moon to give this story greater depth.

The kids will enjoy the idea of shooting stars being spaceships, and I did get a kick out of the shell soldiers. They were so intent on Sandy that it was cute.

The front endpapers are an illustrated glossary of the creation of the island and some of the characters while the back endpapers explore how the island works these days — be sure to explore the locations of the different sleepy sands, *grin*. The graphics have gorgeously intense colors with the constellations of stars lined out.

The Story

The Man in the Moon has a problem.

Most nights, he beams down at the children of Earth, providing them with an inextinguishable nightlight that keeps nightmares at bay. But what happens when it’s foggy or cloudy? When the moon is less than full and bright? Who will keep the children safe at night?

He needs a helper! And he’s spied just the fellow: a sleepy little guy named Sanderson Mansnoozie (Sandy, for short), who might be perfect…if only the Man in the Moon can get him to wake up.

The Characters

Sanderson “Sandy” Mansnoozie was the pilot of a shooting star and he’s also known as the Sandman and then His Nocturnal Magnificence, Sanderson Mansnoozie, Sandman the First, Lord High Protector of Sleep and Dreams, who once received a wish from a very young Man in the Moon.

Mermaids and turtles and seashells come out to help, although how they do this, I haven’t a clue.

The Man in the Moon was the very first guardian and watches over the children of Earth.

Pitch is the King of Nightmares sailing in his Nightmare Galleon with his Dream Pirates.

The Golden Age was long ago.

The Cover and Title

The cover is great fun with its tubby little man all wrapped up in some kind of blanket tailored to his chubby form, standing on a dune of sand on the Island of the Sleepy Sands. His hair is divided into three upright swirls, the ones on either side like a bull’s horns and the center tuft curling up into a backwards question mark. His arms are spread, palms flat while the Dreamsand streams out into the sky.

On either side of the cover are sculpted swirls and twirls of hoodoos, all these soft browns standing out against the deeply royal blue sky with its scattered stars and cloud mountains beneath which is the gleaming green sea. Tucked in unobtrusively around the bottom are the shellmen, wielding their shell-topped spears.

The swirling title and author’s name, curved to fit the full moon, are of embossed metallic copper filling the moon along with what looks like an vignette of shape. At the very top is the name of the series in a pretty and soft purple.

The title is all about the new helper for the Man in the Moon, The Sandman.