The Sandman and the War of Dreams
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Author William Joyce, Laura Geringer
Illustrator William Joyce
Published on November 5, 2013
Published by Atheneum Books
Publication order
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Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies Jack Frost: The End Becomes The Beginning

The Sandman and the War of Dreams is the fourth chapter book in The Guardians of Childhood series.


In their fourth chapter book adventure, the Guardians recruit Sanderson Mansnoozie, the sleepy legend also known as the Sandman, to their cause.

When the Man in the Moon brought together the Guardians, he warned them that they would face some terrible evils as they strove to protect the children of earth. But nothing could have prepared them for this: Pitch has disappeared and taken Katherine with him. And now the Guardians are not only down one member, but a young girl is missing.

Fortunately, MiM knows just the man to join the team. Sanderson Mansnoozie—known in most circles as the Sandman—may be sleepy, but he’s also stalwart and clever and has a precocious ability to utilize sand in myriad ways. If the other Guardians can just convince Sandy that good can triumph evil, that good dreams can banish nightmares, they’ll have themselves quite a squad. But if they can’t… they might never see Katherine again.

Plot Edit

The first chapter opens with Sanderson Mansnoozie, a member of the League of Star Captains, being awakened from his eons-long slumber on an island that floats in the water without a determinate resting point. The person who awakens him is the Man in the Moon, who tells him about the Guardians and that they need his help. Sandy jets off to Santoff Claussen.

Katherine awakens in a thickly wooded forest and eavesdrops on Pitch and Mother Nature arguing. Pitch is actually very touched that his daughter saved him from the Guardians and says so, but Mother Nature coldly and bitterly counters that Katherine is the one who saved him, not her. She tells Pitch that she is a “neutral party” and only came to see what was going on because she was “curious.” She also accuses Pitch of “forgetting her” and implies that he tried to replace her with Katherine. He denies these accusations, particularly of forgetting her, with a seemingly genuine zeal, telling Mother Nature that before his fall, he “tried…I tried for so long!” to find her. Pitch crawls toward her which angers Mother Nature, who just kind of calmly walks around his fallen form, and she causes it to snow wildly. She tells her father that she will not take sides in the battle between himself and the Guardians, and that he is not to “make this girl yours, or I will destroy you. I am your only daughter, for good or ill.” This causes Pitch to come out of his state of abject misery. His demeanor becomes sneaky and malevolent and he says “Yes, my daughter, I will not touch her,” but is his sneaky wordplay that subjects that he will do something even worse to Katherine.

North, Ombric, Bunnymund, Toothiana, and all the rescued children return to Santoff Claussen to tell Qwerty, Bear, and all those who remain there what happened in Punjam Hy Loo. Nightlight and other children in Santoff Claussen see Qwerty crying tears made of Katherine’s written stories, and Nightlight uses them to make a wish that Katherine is alright. Sandy, who is already searching for the Guardians, hears this wish and arrives, introduces himself, and puts them all to sleep with Dreamsand, to tell them the story of how Kozmotis Pitchiner became Pitch and how his daughter—whose name is Emily Jane — became Mother Nature.

So Kozmotis Pitchiner was called “Lord Pitch” by his fleet, and his full title was Lord High General of the Galaxies. He was a “just and fair” person who was “full of compassion for his enemies,” and he traveled around capturing Dream Pirates and imprisoning and feeding them humanely. He and his wife Lady Pitchiner raised their daughter Emily Jane together in this beautiful marble pillared palace in a moon inside the Constellation Orion.

Emily Jane was a “wild, joyful” child who constantly tried to imitate her father by going out on her little schooner when her mother scolded her to be more careful but her father “loved his girl’s wild heart, so he turned a blind eye to her disobedient sailing ways". The Dream Pirates eventually learned that if Pitch couldn’t be destroyed in body, they could “simply destroy his spirit.” So they started searching for his family, whom he loved most of all things.

One night the Dream Pirates staged a fake ambush outside of Orion, and Pitch left to stop the feigned threat. As he left, Emily Jane gave him his locket and he put it on. He hugged and kissed her and told her “I’ll be back soon.” Her reply was “Promise?” and his reply was “On my soul.”

But while he was away chasing a fake threat, the Dream Pirates came to attack the Pitchiner mansion. Emily Jane had snuck out to sail in her schooner with Star Fish, which were her favorite creatures of the stellar seas. So ironically, her disobedience saved her life. But her mother realized that if the Dream Pirates came to attack them and found Emily Jane had escaped, they would come back later to try and kill her again. So she took a dummy doll that she pretended was Emily Jane and jumped from a window to her death with the Dream Pirates watching. She died, and they believed both she and Emily Jane had died.

When Pitch returned home, realizing he had been duped, he had all the Dream Pirates captured and questioned. The entire incident had driven him to the brink of madness. He asked, agitated, what had happened to his wife and daughter, and the Dream Pirate Captain told him that they had died. Pitch totally lost his composure and basically walked down a row of Dream Pirates and calmly decapitated every single one of them, to his soldiers’ shock. He then made it a mission to hunt down and capture all Dream Pirates and Nightmare Men in the cosmos, and stick them on the prison planet. Because he believed he had nothing else to live for, he volunteered to guard the door, taking the locket of Emily Jane as his sole comfort.

Meanwhile, Emily Jane became lost in space when the attack on her home ensued, after watching her mother fall to her death from a distance. She eventually landed with the Constellation Typhan, who had control of many elements and caused storms on the stellar seas. Typhan however was a broken old blind man and while he helped Emily Jane by taking her in, and teaching her how to harness and control all the natural elements, he was not a father to her. Emily Jane was now a broken soul herself, and she wished every single night for her father to find her. She did not realize her father thought she was dead so she thought that he had just abandoned her. Her rage grew for ten years with only the hoarding of drifting (golden) treasure in space to console her (and eventually upset her more because it reminded her of the Golden Age), until her sixteenth birthday when she gave up hope Pitch would ever find her. She unleashed a wild storm on an innocent passing ship because she was angry at them for not being Pitch, and she became filled with a rage she couldn’t quench. Typhan told her to stop, and when she screamed “You are not my father!” at him, he became so hurt that he sealed her inside a shooting star that she could not escape until it crashed onto a planet of its choice.

Enter Sandy, a Star Pilot who was assigned to “saddle” a wishing star, a kind of shooting star that Emily Jane had become. Unaware of who she was, he joined with her when he found her lingering around Star Fish and they began to sail the galaxies together defeating Dream Pirates. He taught her kindness and friendship and eased the anger and sorrow in her soul. She told him her name at last, when she had another temperamental fit, stopped flying, and nearly turned into a forever-sedentary sun. Sandy told her that if they flew together, if they moved, they could go looking for Pitch together. This convinced her to move again. Though Emily Jane became schooled in the whole range of living things’ wishes, and their goal “to be happy,” Sandy and Emily Jane could never find Pitch. Emily Jane finally admitted she had a new wish: to basically move on and forget the father who had “never looked for her”.

The Dream Pirates, however, heard Emily Jane’s earlier dream wishes: to be reunited with Pitch. They realized she was not dead. So they hatched a plan to forever sever Pitch from his still-living daughter: you guessed it, the fake voice of his daughter inside the Prison Planet cell.

Around this time, on the Prison Planet, still thinking his daughter dead, Pitch heard the trick of “Daddy I’m scared, open the door.” He had such hope that somehow Emily Jane was still alive that he opened the door. And the Fearlings, as we already know, devoured him and possessed him and turned him into the Nightmare King.

Pitch built his Nightmare Galleon and sailed it with his ten thousand Dream Pirate/Fearling servants around the cosmos. He too heard Emily Jane’s dream and though it was a cruel trick on Sandy's part to torment him. He went to Sandy and to the Wishing Star he piloted, NOT knowing that star was Emily Jane. He demanded to know why Sandy would torture him so. Sandy claimed that it wasn't torture, it was a dream of hope that Pitch should heed. But he got no further, and Pitch insisted that Sandy had sent the wish to torment him. Pitch declared that, because that very wish was what had caused the fearlings to trick him and turn him into the Nightmare King and it was Sandy who was to blame for "Having no hopes and killing his soul." Pitch was aware of what a monster he is, and upset that he’s lost his previous life. Either way, Emily Jane chooses not to voice that it’s her sealed inside the star. And so Pitch harpoons the star and sends it crashing to “a blue and green planet” : Earth.

After that Pitch sailed off, and Sandy fell into his long dream slumber, protected by the Man in the Moon who “wished he would be well,” thus saving his life (because Sandy is bound to grant good wishes).

In the present, the Guardians awaken from their revelatory dream to find Sandy has gone off to rescue Katherine by contacting Emily Jane (Mother Nature) by himself, hoping their past friendship will help persuade her to not be a neutral party for a time. They all get in a tizzy, but Nightlight insists that they calm down and go to sleep again using a remnant of Sandy’s Dreamsand to “Dream up a way to save Katherine.” They do so. The dream that North receives is a reminder of Katherine relaying her own dream of the future North Pole. In his dream, Katherine tells him to rescue her by building it. Using the three Relics and the Dreamsand (the fourth relic), they combine their powers (Yetis, Warrior Eggs, Tooth Fairies) to begin building the great city of the North Pole. What they don’t yet realize is there’s a catch to this entire endeavor. Pitch has planted this seed in Katherine’s and North’s minds from the beginning, leading them on to build it on purpose.

Meanwhile, Katherine is magically stuck in a nightmare that will never end, which is what Pitch has done to her instead of “touching” her. Her dreams are awful and inescapable. Pitch is a part of every single nightmare and while he’s doing so, he’s scanning all of Katherine’s dreams for information to use on defeating the Guardians.

Sandy meanwhile searches for Katherine and meets up with Emily Jane. Emily Jane agrees to take him to “the girl” (Katherine) out of kindness toward her old friend.

The Guardians continue to build at the “magnetic pole of the North” their “First city of the New Golden Age.” North uses his magic to transport them to the new location. The workers build ice tunnels that connect the buildings of the Pole to the rest of the world. The Northern Lights are built from a multicolored tower that will “serve as a beacon to the world.”

Emily Jane takes Sandy to Tanglewood in America, through an Indian trail, where Katherine is hidden by Pitch in a cave. This happens to be the same cave where Nightlight and Pitch had been sealed together after their battle. Emily Jane tells Sandy, “This is as far as I will go. He is, after all, my father, for good or ill.” Then she adds that Pitch is “past saving and is now savage through and through”. She then hurriedly leaves Sandy to his rescue mission. He puts Pitch’s bat servants to sleep and knocks out a Nightmare Man that he wears like a cloak to disguise himself deeper into the cave.

He finds Katherine laying on a black rock carved to look like a coffin sleeping with a shield spell comprised of Nightmare Men surrounding her. He learns that tiny Nightmare Men are being sucked into Katherine’s nose and mouth and “dooming her to an eternity of nightmares”.

Nightlight joins Sandy in the cave to help him free Katherine. Nightlight’s staff cuts through the rock. He discovers that the rock is the same rock that he and Pitch were sealed to for a thousand years. A moonbeam from Nightlight’s staff tells Sandy about how Nightlight and Pitch ended up sealed in the cave. It mentions that there must be some residue left over from Pitch’s evil soul keeping Katherine trapped on the rock. It also mentions that Nightlight has the power of the “Kiss of Goodnight” that is given to a child but doesn’t realize its power. It recalls how Nightlight protected MiM from any nightmares sent by Pitch. It finally recalls how MiM’s baby tears were what caused the diamond staff to be forged that pinioned Pitch, and that Nightlight used to use Dreamsand just like Sandy does.

Nightlight and Sandy together use Dreamsand to free Katherine. They find it surprising and too easy how they can fly off with her, and that “Pitch is nowhere in sight.” Katherine is still on the “nightmare stone/rock.” She has a wild dream about floating on a cold sea underneath which she knows Pitch lurks, but also begins to dream of all the stock motifs of Mother Goose such as the cow jumping over the moon and the three blind mice. She feels Sandy and Nightlight’s presence and begins to have hope of awakening.

Katherine is brought back to the North Pole, but they have not landed yet. Sandy learns that the Nightmare Rock is turning his Dreamsand into contaminated grains of Nightmare Sand. The Nightmare Sand begins to contaminate the Dreamsand cloud on which Sandy, Nightlight, and Katherine ride and making them lose control. The Guardians see what’s going on and all “suit up” to go rescue them. Tooth and her tooth fairies, North and his reindeer, and a chocolate-transferred Bunnymund fly into the air to help Sandy and Nightlight defeat the contaminated cloud.

Katherine falls off the cloud. Nightlight dives to save her, and because Sandy’s Dreamsand helps him remember what he did for MiM as a child, he gives Katherine the “Kiss of Goodnight” on the lips, awakening her from her spell.

Emily Jane briefly appears to make the remaining Nightmare Men scatter, and Sandy is sworn in as a Guardian. It’s implied that, in kissing Katherine, Nightlight has become a real adolescent boy who will finally age like everyone else.

Nightlight slept for the first time in his life and Pitch was not seen crawling out of that Nightmare Rock from which Katherine was earlier liberated. As it turns out, Pitch was using Katherine again as a hostage to get him into the North Pole. And Pitch was the one who sent the dream of North’s city from Katherine to North, having read Katherine’s memories while she was his hostage. “Unknowingly, the Guardians themselves had smuggled him into the one place he most needed to be. Now he could win this war once and for all….”

Trivia Edit

  • In Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies, there's a preview of the book that states the appearance of Jack Frost but he does not appear in the final cut. The possible reason for this is to avoid creating confusion between the series and Rise of the Guardians.
    • In Rise of the Guardians, Jack states that he has been trying to break in to North's Workshop for years. In The Guardians of Childhood series the workshop is being created so it won't make any sense for Jack to be around before North’s workshop exists.
    • In the movie, Jack has been trying to find his purpose and asked The Man in the Moon for some help but MiM doesn't respond, while in the books, MiM is still heavily involved in the comings and goings.

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