The New Cadets

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In The New Cadets, creative writer Marjorie Burns weaves a tale about toy dogs who train to become dream rangers. These dream rangers are selected by special agents who travel the world looking for only the best, most intelligent candidates to be made into “flesh” dogs, which help kids overcome their nightmares by going into their dreams.

Among the latest round of dream ranger cadets are Diggity the Dachshund and Oliver the Labrador, accompanied by a few other special canine companions. In their completely dog-friendly academy, with doggy doors and specially designed rooms, the dogs have a lot to learn—not just about entering dreams and stopping nightmares from happening—but about how to be a real dog and doing real dog things, from the art of tail wagging to the competitive intricacies of “toileting.”

Author Marjorie Burns has put a lot of careful thought into her imaginative book for children. She has created fun, unique characters and an interesting storyline, and she carries a great sense of humor throughout the book. She cleverly anticipates young readers’ questions and has made sure to nail down the specifics of how the stuffed animals come to interact in the real world.

Diggity—who is the cover model for the book—in particular, has a very entertaining character. He is clever, yet he is forever wanting to be dignified. And his pride is longer than he is. Burns also weaves in a bit of mystery when it comes to what lies beyond the academy’s grounds, perking up the dogs’ intrigue as well as the readers’.

The story has a certain charm, as Burns has some personal inspiration for it. She originally came up with the idea of dream rangers when her five-year-old grandson was struggling with nightmares. She bought him a gigantic stuffed Labrador, and the story took flight from there.

The story is also written quite well, with few grammatical errors. It also contains some black-and-white pictures every now and then, but it still might be a little hard for some preschool-age kids to follow along.

Overall, Burns’ first book in the Dream Ranger series is an excellent story for elementary-age children, promising an engaging tale. It is great for dog-obsessed kids or a useful aid for those who may be struggling with nightmares and sleep anxiety. Moreover, the narrative is written in a way that makes it an entertaining read for parents to read as well.

Reviewed By:

Author Marjorie Burns
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 275 pages
Publisher The Gabbro Head Press
Publish Date 15-Apr-2024
ISBN 97817325799 Buy this Book
Issue March 2024
Category Children's