Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Friday, October 15, 2010


Wynken, Blynken and Nod Fountain in Wellsboro, PA

Wynken, Blynken and Nod (Picture Puffin) WYNKEN, BLYNKEN, AND NOD, by Eugene Field, illustrated by Susan Jeffers.  (ages 4-8).  My last entry was about Susan Jeffers and her beautiful books and illustrations.  One book she illustrated that I didn't mention deserves its own post!  Wynken, Blynken and Nod is actually a poem, originally titled "Dutch Lullaby".  (I've posted the full text below.) The poem is a bedtime story of three fishermen sailing and fishing in the stars. Their boat is a wooden shoe. The fishermen symbolize a sleepy child's blinking eyes and nodding head.

Over 100 years ago, "Wynken, Blynken and Nod" came alive in the imagination of Eugene Field and on March 9, 1889, he penned the immortal words of this perfect childhood poem.  Field, considered to be the first newspaper columnist in the US, lived only 45 years - from 1850 to 1895. During that time, he wrote over 500 poems and short stories, many about children. He believed childhood was the most precious time of life and therefore, should be enjoyed by day dreaming, pretending, and using one's imagination before the realities and responsibilities of adulthood were attained.

Click here to watch a video of Walt Disney presenting an introduction to Disney's cartoon version.
Click here to watch the 1938 Disney short of Wynken, Blynken, and Nod (The animation is adorable, but I prefer the poem to the cartoon!)


Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe---
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
Said Wynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea---
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish---
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam---
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 't was a dream they 'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea---
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
And Nod.

1 comment:

  1. aw, I used to love love love this book so much when I was little! :-) a classic.