Nikczemne skrzaty i inne (nie)baśniowe potworności dzieciństwa w „Złodziejach snów” Małgorzaty Strękowskiej-Zaremby
The first part of the article provides a short outline of the works by Małgorzata Strękowska-Zaremba, a well-known and critically acclaimed Polish children’s author, and gives special attention to her interest in certain popular literature genres. Among her works, a prominent place is occupied by three books in which the writer uses various genres and conventions of the fantastic to discuss important real-life problems: parents’ divorce and homelessness in Złodzieje snów [The Dream Stealers] (2008/2019), domestic violence in Dom nie z tej ziemi [The Otherworldly House] (2017), and depression in Lilana (2019). The main part of the paper covers an analysis of Złodzieje snów, which is focused on monsterological plots and motifs shown in the context of the use of fairytale conventions in the book. Strękowska-Zaremba utilises the figure of demonic gnomes (derived from French folklore) who in the story are believed to have stolen the dreams of the protagonist, little Basia, after her parents separated. However, as the author of the article claims in its last part, in Złodzieje snów, these creatures from the folk imagery are much less monstrous than real-life problems, including separation and divorce, loneliness, and homelessness. This also applies to Dom nie z tej ziemi and Lilana, which is briefly stated in the conclusion.