A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers was published by Voyager Books, an imprint of Harcourt Children's Books in 1981. Awarded the Newbery Medal for Excellence in Children's Literature and named a Caldecott Honor Book, both in 1982, it is currently the only book to be recognized for both awards in the same year. I read this on May 5, 2012 with my ten year old daughter.
This is a collection of poems by Nancy Willard, who tells us in her introduction that she was first introduced to the poetry of William Blake by a caregiver when she was sick at seven years old. Mr. Blake is a noted English poet, painter and printmaker, who lived in the late 18th to early 19th centuries.
The collection of poems shows a whimsical look into what you might find if you ever traveled to William Blake's Inn. I would have certainly enjoyed reading this to my children if they were much younger.
Typically, I choose the next book by picking from pieces of rolled up paper with all the remaining titles printed on them. In this instance, I chose to read this book after Olive Kitterdidge because I needed a palate cleanser of sorts to clear my mind of the seriousness. It's short, light and fanciful. Just what I needed.
This inn belongs to William Blake
and many are the beasts he's tamed
and many are the stars he's named
and many those who stop and take
their joyful rest with William Blake.
You whose journeys now begin,
if you reach a lovely inn,
if a rabbit makes your bed,
if two dragons bake your bread,
rest a little for my sake,
and give my love to William Blake.
Nancy Willard was born in 1936 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is a noted and prolific children's author and poet for both children and adults. She continues to lecture on English at Vassar College. She lives in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Alice and Martin Provensen are a husband and wife illustrating team. They received the Caldecott Honor medal for this book. They have received their own Caldecott medal for The Glorious Flight. Martin, who created Kellogg cereal mascot, Tony The Tiger, passed away in 1987. Alice continues to write and illustrate, and lives in Dutchess County, New York.
Book Source: Bought used via Amazon.