The New Cadets

We rated this book:


Fun, creative, and original, The New Cadets by Marjorie Burns was a delight to read. Oliver, a stuffed animal Yellow Labrador, lives a lonely life in his toy shop. All the other stuffed animals that he enjoyed talking to have been sold. Left with the toys that cannot have meaningful conversations, Oliver is awaiting his dream family, one that will take him away and help him begin his career in toyhood. That is, until Evan and Amy visit the toy shop. Immediately, Evan seems to understand what Oliver is saying! Never having met a human who can speak toy, he is completely thrown off guard, and even more so when Evan asks if he has considered a career beyond toyhood. The next proposal he gives is one that will change Oliver’s life forever: the proposition to become a Dream Ranger, a special group of toy dogs who help children understand, interpret, and follow their dreams.

Leaving with Evan and Amy, Oliver begins to comprehend the importance of his new job. He learns from his friends that there is a double-edged power in understanding dreams, allowing the opportunity to hurt or help people by knowing these interior thoughts. That is why the Rangers’ jobs are so important; committed to privacy and protecting the children they serve, unfortunately, bad guys are trying to stop the Rangers’ work, going to extreme lengths such as kidnapping to try and use these powers for ill purposes. Upon hearing this, Oliver is alarmed but understands that his gift can be a huge asset to dream-troubled children. So, with Amy and Evan, he travels to the Academy, a place where stuffed dogs like himself learn how to become the best Rangers they can be!

Reminiscent of Hogwarts, the Academy is sort of a boarding school for stuffed dogs. The recruits, Oliver included, will be ushered into this new life, learning from past Rangers and their mentors all there is to dreams and interpreting them. The story continues to follow Oliver and his journey, full of adventure, awe, and excitement!

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this children’s book. Very imaginative, I think Burns wrote an excellent story, one that would entertain many children as well as their parents. I also loved the added illustrations from Wilhelm. A great complement, these beautiful drawings helped with breaking up passages, making them easier to understand for young readers, as well as adding a wonderful visual aid. Ending on quite a cliff-hanger, I am interested to see what she has in store for her next novel, and learning more about the life of a Dream Ranger!

Reviewed By:

Author Theresa Kadair
Star Count 4/5
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