The New Cadets

We rated this book:


Oliver, a big stuffed toy Labrador, has never imagined a life beyond toyhood. However, when he learns he could become a Dream Ranger, he decides to try his luck at exploring a different path. Apparently, Rangers get to help children in their dreams and have to maintain a great level of secrecy. Since the Bureau is a fairly new organization and is concerned about protecting a dreamer’s privacy, only a select few know of its existence.

Oliver and the other lucky stuffed animals are happy to keep each other company as they embark on numerous adventures and discover the thrill of transforming into “flesh-and-blood dogs” that can smell, jump, and roll around joyfully. Join a group of funny, fun-loving stuffed animals as they take on various tasks and explore the world of dreams in Marjorie Burns’ The New Cadets.

The stuffed animals are quite adorable and likable. And since Marjorie’s language comprises cute words like doggy chests and Diggity, the book has a generally lovable atmosphere. Consequently, children, who are the main target audience, will love this aspect of the book. Older readers who enjoy humorous, creative tales will also find it attractive.

I liked that the book contains several funny sentences like, “We’ll see what we see of the sea”. Since they don’t take themselves too seriously, the protagonists appear light-hearted and fun. Apart from its fun characters, the descriptive nature of the story is another one of its engaging features. Picturing the “richly decorated dome”, the “rose-colored marble”, and the other vivid descriptions was a delightful experience. Also, the adorable drawings of the dogs offer a memorable visual experience.

Unfortunately, some aspects of the book seemed overly fragmented, which hampered the flow of the story. For example, some characters, like Joely and Zoey, are only seen in a few pages. Several topics, including poetry and history, are only discussed on a few pages. Additionally, I disliked that there’s no obvious viewpoint in the narrative. Following different characters’ opinions without a noticeable, maintained perspective was somewhat confusing.

Overall, Marjorie’s book is a creative story about stuffed animals becoming real and exploring the reality of being a part of a secret organization that influences dreams. The stuffed characters are seen transforming and learning the ropes of moving and sensing the world around them like real dogs. Readers will love the protagonists’ infectious humor and the excitement of a gradually unraveling transformation. However, the book could use a consistent plot and more defined viewpoints.

Reviewed By:

Author Marjorie Burns
Star Count 3/5
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