Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE LAND OF NOD by Robert Louis Stevenson


by Robert Louis Stevenson ; illustrated by Robert Frank Hunter

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-911171-04-1
Publisher: Flying Eye Books

A child confined indoors by an injury tumbles off to dreamland in this surreal but comforting edition of the classic short poem.

The mise-en-scène is the illustrator’s invention, as the poem is a generalized rumination. In Hunter’s rendition, the narrator is a white, pajama-clad lad whose condition is indicated by the presence of a crutch and the soft-boiled egg he doesn’t seem particularly interested in eating. Clambering over piles of outsize furniture and household bric-a-brac, the child is joined on a nightly jaunt by several mildly odd toys—notably a disembodied hand and a doll with a conical head—that provide help and companionship until, as a humongous sun rises, the invalid glides home atop a paper airplane. Lit by the huge, lambent moon, Hunter’s neatly limned dreamscapes are more exhilarating than otherwise, even when the accompanying line alludes to “many frightening sights abroad.” The last lines express the narrator’s regret at not being able to return to Nod or hear the “curious music” there, but in token that the confinement is but temporary, the child, hobbled by a heavy cast on one leg, is last seen happily getting paper-airplane “Get Well Soon” notes from friends waiting outside the bedroom window.

A warm reminder that adventures await, no further away than the nearest pillow.

(Picture book. 4-7)