In his first book for children, British illustrator Hunter brings substantial depth and poignancy to Stevenson’s 1885 poem. A white, shaggy-haired boy sits glumly at the kitchen table as the poem opens (“From breakfast on through all the day/ At home among my friends I stay”), staring at children playing outside; the following spread shows him holding court in front of an audience of toys, and a glimpse of a crutch reveals why he is stuck indoors. Upon falling asleep, the boy soars into dreamland. Hunter uses lurid shades of pink and blue to striking, cinematic effect as the boy leaps across an airborne river of furniture, toys, and everyday objects to arrive in the land of Nod. The repurposing of objects from the boy’s home offers fresh delights with every page turn: a giant spoon serves as a boat, a desk lamp becomes a bridge, and the boy and his toys, now brought to life, soar through the sky in paper airplanes. It’s a sympathetic portrait of a child making the best of his convalescence, and an enticing vision of the wonders that await in dreams. Ages 3–7. (Feb.)
Robert Louis Stevenson’s short meditation on the nature of dreamland, from his 1885 collection "A Child’s Garden of Verses," returns in a striking stand-alone picture book: The Land of Nod. Here the lines of Stevenson’s poem are set amid dramatic, color-saturated illustrations by Robert Frank Hunter.
—Wall Street Journal
In his first book for children, British illustrator Hunter brings substantial depth and poignancy to Stevenson’s 1885 poem. […] Hunter uses lurid shades of pink and blue to striking, cinematic effect […] It’s a sympathetic portrait of a child making the best of his convalescence, and an enticing vision of the wonders that await in dreams.
—Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
The illustrations are modern-looking, with stylized shapes and striking color combinations, but somehow also timeless. […] It’s a wildly imaginative take on the story, and it elevates the original poem and gives it additional context. […] It’s a visually stunning book, with a simple yet lovely storyline to go along with it.
—Portland Book Review
A warm reminder that adventures await, no further away than the nearest pillow.
[Rob Hunter] hand-draws all the visuals using pencils and crayons, before adding colour digitally. This process gives his illustrations the depth, atmosphere and otherworldly quality that make for a beautiful sequence of images. Also the colours, which transform from a bright daytime scheme into a blue and pink-tinged nighttime one, really plunge the reader into the magic of the book.
—It's Nice That
A classic children’s poem by Robert Louis Stevenson is given new life in this picture book adaptation, illustrated by London-based illustrator Robert Frank Hunter. […] Hunter’s palette is especially striking, a feast for the eyes that alternates between cool blues and warm moments of pink.
—Julie Danielson, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Deliberate, ethereal and playful, Robert Louis Stevenson's classic poem of childhood is given new meaning in the details of the illustrations.
—The Wandering Bookseller
Mr. Hunter's illustrations of this classic tale by Robert Louis Stevenson is lovely. As the poem moves along, the graphics take you on the journey this young one takes in his mind…
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)