“From breakfast on through all the day,” a boy sits watching children play. But when the sun sets down its head, and the boy is safely tucked in bed, twinkling stars call him “abroad, afar into the land of Nod.” As well as a dreamy story time, this retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Land of Nod beautifully illustrated by Robert Hunter, inspired some close reading. Why does the boy have to stay at home? What clues can you find in the illustrations? Where is the Land of Nod? Why can’t the boy return in the day?
We’ve often come across stories where the beloved toys of children have come to life within their dreams. This is a magical notion and comforting at bedtime, so are the twilight colours used—sleepy blues and peaceful pinks. Hunter’s surreal landscapes emphasise that our imaginations go beyond logical limits. We enjoyed the links between the boy’s dream and his current reality, and the endearing ending.