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Item - Dream Trips

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Series: Choose Your Own Adventure for Younger Readers — no. 9
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Skylark 2 Box Set (Collection)
Translated Into: Viajes de ensueño (Spanish)
Viatges de somni (Catalan)
Voyage au pays des rêves (French)
Author: Packard, Edward
Illustrators: Granger, Paul (pseudonym used by Hedin, Don)
Tomei, Lorna (interior)
Date: June, 1983
ISBNs: 0553151908 / 9780553151909
0553155067 / 9780553155068
Length: 53 pages
Number of Endings: 12
User Summary: You go to sleep and have dreams. Hmm.
Demian's Thoughts:

This could have been a much more interesting book, but sadly it wasn't. It has some weird random stuff, a couple opportunities for wish fulfillment and little substance. I suppose it's fairly appropriate for the age group it's aimed at, but I still can't help feeling that Edward Packard is capable of doing better than this.

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KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts:

I'm not sure any gamebook concept was ever better suited to the format than Dream Trips by Edward Packard, which takes advantage of the elasticity of dreams to spin a story that otherwise wouldn't be possible. Warm at home in bed, you drift into a dream around midnight. As you lie on a fluffy cloud, a lion stalks toward you across a pathway of clouds. Panic floods your system, but're dreaming. Should you walk up and confront the king of beasts?

Running from the lion causes you to fall out of bed and awaken, but you return to sleep quickly. You're walking down a hallway in the next dream and come upon four doors. Enter the one with music coming from inside, and you find yourself in the school auditorium at a concert. Are you prepared to present a music act...even if you're wearing only pajamas? Maybe you'll run out to the playground to escape, or go with the flow and play the cello for an appreciative audience. Opening one of the other doors, which contains a ringing telephone, leads you to meet the dreamworld version of yourself. Try the door labeled Room 23 instead, and you'll be in a classroom with a grouchy teacher. Will you be courteous, or back-sass her because it's just a dream? Entering the door marked Entrance takes you back to your bedroom...but a man in suit and tie says you must clean your room before the dream can end. If you refuse, the story becomes a meta scene in which you are reading this very book. Do you trust the man when he says turning to page page fifty-one will wake you up? Hey, it's a dream...the text also offers opportunity to turn to any page in the book and resume reading there, or to close the book and end it now. Alternatively, you could run back into the hallway and take charge of your own dream narrative. In the Land of Nod, anything goes.

What if you didn't shy away from the lion at first? The lion cowers from you, demonstrating you had no reason to fear. He morphs into an old man and offers to create any fantasy you ask for in the brief time left to your dream. Do you wish for all the candy you can eat? The man guides you to Candy Land, where delectable chocolate bars grow on trees. When giant ants attack, can you divert them? Maybe you'd rather ride a horse than have candy; the old man conjures a chestnut colt to carry you galloping through the clouds until you peacefully awaken. Perhaps you prefer a hot air balloon ride over mountains, farmland, and anywhere you can imagine...until the dream fades into a blissful memory. Do you yearn for a more permanent experience? The old man offers three gifts you'll keep even after your eyes open. Tonight's dream won't likely disappear from your thoughts. Dream Trips is purposely weird, but has lovely understanding of the dream world and what it can mean to an aspirational dreamer. If the reader gets scared, a chance to exit the fantasy is never far away, but probe further and you might discover subtle truths, or satisfy your appetite for adventure in a way you can't in the real world. Is it better in life to reject all nonsense, or be a good sport and learn from rubbing elbows with the absurd? Embracing the incongruities of human nature leads places you never expected you'd want to go. Despite occasional internal inconsistencies, Dream Trips is an engaging, surprising, evocative book, and Lorna Tomei's illustrations are wonderful. Check out the balloon ride over the quiet countryside on page fifteen, or the many charming depictions of your bedroom. For the first ten Bantam Skylark Choose Your Own Adventures, Edward Packard was the best contributor, and this book is a keeper.

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Waluigi Freak 99's Thoughts:

Many random, weird adventures occur here. I liked the gimmick that allows you to just turn to any page in the book and follow the adventure there, as well as the other silly fourth wall references that abound. While this helps the book in some places, it brings it down in others, making it a barely memorable one. It's a nice break from more serious works, but I wouldn't be caught dead reading it in public, or anything.

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Users Who Own This Item: bobthefunny, Cyan, dave2002a, Gartax, gildedlionbooks (US, 1st Printing), Himynameistony, jdreller, jharvey79, katzcollection, KenJenningsJeopardy74, kinderstef, knginatl (yellow (horse on left), yellow (horse on right), red), marcfonline, mattender, nelsondesign, newt3425, ntar (yellow), plowboy, Pseudo_Intellectual, rtaylor352, spragmatic, strawberry_brite, ThaRid, waktool (Original, 1st printing (yellow, $1.95)), yunakitty
Users Who Want This Item: exaquint (yellow, yellow flipped cover, red), Ffghtermedic, horrorbusiness, NEMO, Nomad, Uraniborg (red)
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