Robert Ingpen was born in Geelong, Australia. He began studying illustration and design at the Royal Melbourne Technical College (now RMIT University). Since 1970 he has written and illustrated well over one hundred books, and in 1986 he was awarded the highest honor in the children's book world, the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, for his long term contribution to international children's literature. His books for minedition include If You Wish, and The Ugly Duckling.
Written in the form of a letter to his granddaughter, Ingpen's fanciful picture book chronicles an imaginary being who catches the creatures of our dreams when they escape to reality and returns them to a place called the Dreamtree. In less able hands, such a premise could rapidly decline into New Age-ish nonsense; instead, myth and lore collide to create a promising fantasy. Mystical, dreamlike and occasionally nightmarish, Ingpen's detailed illustrations blend pencil sketches and watercolors to flesh out the imagery evoked in his hand-lettered text. He shows the elaborate traps used by the Dreamkeeper; the shoes with the special backwards soles to mystify those who would try and track him; the charms, tokens and lures that are his stock in trade--even the solar-powered remote control used by his goblin assistant to unwind invisibility. Sharp-eyed readers will recognize some familiar faces among the inhabitants of the Dreamtree--the Frog Prince, Long John Silver and the White Rabbit, among others. A most unusual book, with the same sort of appeal as Wil Huygen's Gnomes. --Publishers Weekly This book is one of those fascinating combinations of story and catalog. Just a perfect gift book for that child who's a little bit dreamy and a little bit scientific. --Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal