Overview / 简介:
|Depicts the changes that occur on a small island as the seasons come and go, as day changes to night, and as a storm approaches.|
Foreign Customer Review / 国外客户评价:
|You may not recognize the author's name. But do you know that Golden MacDonald was a pen name for Margaret Wise Brown of Goodnight Moon fame? The text of this book captures the subtle rhythms of her appreciation for nature, and the connections that all beings and objects in nature have with one another. The book also won a Caldecott Medal for its shimmering and tingling watercolors. The images create a mood of the perpetual essence of nature, and our connections to one another through the blue-green and grey palettes used.
Children's books often contain more themes and important messages than 400 page novels. The Little Island is one of the great masterpieces in achieving that remarkable accomplishment.
The book covers the four seasons as they affect the little island and the plants and animals that visit the island. To show the on-going nature of the process, the book's time line expands beyond a single year.
The island is described as being:
"A part of the world
and a world of its own
all surrounded by the bright blue sea."
On the island, you will connect with birds, tides, clouds, fish, fogs, spiders, flowers, lobsters, seals, kingfishers, gulls, wild strawberries, butterflies, herring, mackerel, seaweed, pears, a black crow, a little kitten on a boat, trees, bushes, rocks, moths, an owl, a storm, snow, the sun, wind, and rain.
The connection to Donne is made in the context of the kitten visitor to the island. "May be I am an island too . . . a little fur Island in the air."
The connections run in all directions. The kitten learns from the island that the island is connected to all of the other land. When the kitten doubts the island about this point, the island suggests asking a fish. The kitten gets the answer there, but cannot get firm proof. He just has to take the fish's word for it. This is an obvious allusion to the element of faith in our understanding of the spiritual nature of our connections to one another. Having the kitten fish is also an allusion to the famous Biblical reference of teaching a man to fish, rather than providing him with fish.
The book uses other connections to make the point. Many animals need the little island to go through their annual cycle, such as the seals who raise their young on the island. Many of the insects and birds come from the mainland across the sea. The weather affects the sea, the island, and the mainland alike . . . as do the tides.
Some of the illustrations are so beautiful that you will want to carry them with you always. My favorite was of the kingfishers.
The story will be strengthened by what you choose to share with you child as you read the book out loud. There are opportunities here to share scientific facts, spiritual connections, and to explain the mutual dependency that occurs in nature.
I suspect that many people's lives have been enriched by the warm connections this book makes. Shouldn't your children and grandchildren have the same opportunity?
See the forest and the trees!
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