Within the context of the novel, these details, which might be applied to say, a cooking accident in another book, convey so much more than just how the characters physically experience the world. They express all the tension and urgency of high stakes conflict and even combat, all without mentioning any of those things explicitly.
A dream world shaped by children's desires.
On the other side of dreams is a world called Nou, where children can escape the trauma of the waking world. Befriending creatures of cloth and stitch, the children from across the veil explore and play to their hearts' content, able to shape the world itself to their desires.
But inevitably, contact between two worlds will leave both changed forever.