cover image Wynken, Blynken, & Nod

Wynken, Blynken, & Nod

Eugene Field. NorthSouth, $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-55858-422-8

Inspired 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.)