From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2—Potter's fanciful, artistic interpretation is ideal for this 19th-century poem about the wistful place between sleep and dreams. Wynken, Blynken, and Nod are portrayed as three young boys in matching green pajamas, wooden shoes, and red hats. They embark in their vessel, a large wooden shoe, and sail "...on a river of crystal light,/Into a sea of dew." Sea and sky flow into one another and soon the lads are speeding through the air, where the "little stars" are "herring fish" and the young fishermen cast their nets. The wooden shoe brings them home, where readers learn that the episode is a lullaby sung by a mother to her son who is tucked in bed, snug in his green pajamas with his toy fish. Done in Potter's characteristic style, each spread is a dreamy still life; the mixed-media paintings are drenched in the calming blues of the sea and sky, and the muted hues lend a soporific tone. There is an otherworldly quality to the artwork, and a note describes why the illustrator was attracted to this poem. Share this vividly imagined book with youngsters who need a little help gaining entry to the world of dreams.—Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI
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PreS-Gr. 1. Few texts have inspired so many picture books as Field's familiar bedtime rhyme. In this large-format book, McPhail's interpretation sends three bunnies, clothed as sailors, off in the wooden shoe that sails through a dreamy version of the night sky and into the bedroom of a little girl. After they scatter stars onto her blanket, and she quickly falls asleep, they glide back toward the benevolent moon. Rich with deep, soft colors, the illustrations sweep broadly across the double-page spreads. The same sailors and wooden shoe appear on nearly every spread, which could have been yawn inducing in itself. But McPhail smoothly varies the perspective and composition from scene to scene, so like the lullaby itself, the pictures suggest rhythm, grace, and mystery. A natural for reading aloud, and even better for singing aloud, this book may become a bedtime favorite. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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