The Land of Nod with Robert Hunter

h1 January 25th, 2017 by jules


“But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.”

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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.

The Land of Nod (Flying Eye Books) will arrive on shelves next month. In the illustrations, Hunter gives a young boy, the one who nightly visits the dream-world of Nod, a leg cast and set of crutches. The boy looks longingly out the window at children playing, but since he can’t join them, he retreats into the world of his imagination at night. His dreamscape is populated by the items in his bedroom and the rest of his home, all of them mammoth in size and the playground of his adventures. In one spread showing his entrance into the Land of Nod, he leaps across so many spectral items in his home — a chair, books, a piece of furniture, a vase. They form an otherwordly bridge of sorts, one awash in the cool blues of night. The toys on his bed join him on his surreal adventure. The mundane becomes the fantastical here.

Hunter’s palette is especially striking, a feast for the eyes that alternates between cool blues and warm moments of pink. The glowing pinks and oranges grow as the boy wakes. Hunter’s assured lines swoop and flow; the book’s landscape orientation propels the page turns, readers eager to see what the boy will meet next in his dream. The ending is abrupt but hopeful; the next day the boy may still be bedridden, but his friends acknowledge him from the window, sending him a get-well note in the form of a paper airplane.

Here are some spreads. The art can speak loads more than my words can. Enjoy.

 


“At home among my friends I stay …”
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“All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do …”

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“All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams …”

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“The strangest things are there for me …”
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“Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day.”

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(Click to enlarge cover)


 

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THE LAND OF NOD. Copyright © 2016 Flying Eye Books. Illustrations © Robert Frank Hunter 2016 and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Flying Eye Books, New York.

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One comment to “The Land of Nod with Robert Hunter”

  1. Beautiful! I grew up with “A Child’s Garden of Verses”, illustrated, I think, by Tasha Tudor, which I loved, but this is clearly a whole new category of fantasticness!


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