Wynken, Blynken, and Nod: A Poemby Eugene Field, E. Field, J. Westerman
In this bedtime poem, three fishermen in a wooden shoe catch stars in their nets of silver and gold.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyInspired by Field's bedtime poem with its night sky of ``twinkling foam,'' Westerman (The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat) conjures forth an eerie, luminous sea- and skyscape, aglitter with splendid silver ``herring fish'' stars. Three children and their cat enact the roles of Field's fishermen as they sail off in a wooden shoe boat, its sail made from a patched sheet. While not surrealistic, the characters and setting are thoroughly dreamlike. The artist's predominantly blue-green palette influences not only the pictures of the sea and moon, but also the children's faces. They stare like ghostly sleepwalkers, their countenances reflecting the blue of the sky, while the crater-mottled moon floats off through the sea's ruffled waves. The night-as-sea illustrations echo the imagery of the text, but Westerman adds more action with the children returning home, anchoring their boat to the chimney and climbing through a gabled window to their bed. Westerman's inventive design elements (the real bedroom's quilt and decor are similar to the visual motifs in the dreamscape) provide a soothing accompaniment for the familiar text, a staple for bedtime reading. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Wendy RicciThis well-known bedtime poem is based on the original by Eugene Field. It is a tale of three Dutch children who dream that they set out one night to sail in their "boat"-an oversized wooden shoe. The reader later discovers that the "wooden shoe boat" was really the children's little wooden trundle bed and the sparkling herring that they caught was really the stars in the sky. The verses to this poem are music to the ears and the illustrations provide a quiet, relaxing accompaniment. An excellent bedtime story for young children.
School Library JournalPreS-Gr 1This classic bedtime poem appears in a newly illustrated edition; previous versions include those illustrated by Susan Jeffers (Dutton 1982), Sheilah Beckett (Putnam, 1986; o.p.), Barbara Cooney (Hastings, 1991), and Cathy Beylon (Golden, 1992). Westerman's minutely detailed watercolors depict a Dutch landscape where three children, dressed in nightclothes, and a cat set sail in a wooden shoe. The luminosity of the moonlit sea is captured in muted shades of blue that create a soothing mood for the dramatic verse. Spacious design featuring full-page, neatly bordered pictures opposite the text enhances the quiet mood. The elaborate typeface is artistically in keeping with the 19th-century flavor of the poem.Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY
Carolyn PhelanEugene Field's famous lullaby has inspired several picture books. Libraries with Barbara Cooney's classic version and Susan Jeffers' popular edition on the shelves may feel they have enough, but Westerman's interpretation of the lyrical verses deserves consideration, not because she offers a revolutionary vision, but because she captures the tone of the poem in a fittingly traditional way. The large watercolor paintings feature seas and skies of deep blue greens spangled with white stars, fish, and foam. A benevolent moon lights the pretty scenes of children venturing through their sea of dreams and returning to their cozy bed. A pleasing rendition of an old favorite.
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