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Abel's Island (Newbery Award & Honor Books (Paperback)) Paperback – October 2, 2007
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“There was no trouble in locating the best book of the year, William Steig's Abel's Island . . . Abelard is, one hopes, all of us-proud, resourceful, despairing, persevering and, eventually, triumphant. And so is Mr. Steig triumphant in the quality of his prose-nor has he stinted on the quality and quantity of his illustrations.” ―George A. Woods, The New York Times
“Abel's adventures are presented with Steig's usual grace, warmth, and insight, and the delights of the text are further enhanced by his drawings. On all counts, it's a winner.” ―School Library Journal, Starred Review
“With inimitable style, Steig tells the story of a mouse, Abelard Hassam di Chirico Flint, who gets swept away in a driving rainstorm while rescuing his wife's scarf and winds up stranded on a river island for a year. Abel isn't just a mouse. He's a fastidious Edwardian dandy whose inherited wealth ensures the leisurely comforts he takes such pleasure in. But Abel's high-toned life of leisure conceals a soul full of true grit: once faced with the necessity of surviving. Abel rises to the challenge.” ―Booklist, Starred Review
“Abel is a classic Steig hero: amiable, dignified, polite and given to moments of brave self-understanding that cause him to rise to desperate challenges. Steig's lively use of metaphor makes his books a joy to read aloud.” ―The Wall Street Journal
“It's not only for kids that Steig's work offers revelations. He's one of those writers whose observations one can contemplate at different ages with different insights. In Abel's Island, Abel, a mouse accustomed to a life of luxury, is wrenched from his beloved wife by a violent storm and spends a year as a castaway, sustained only by his desire to return to her. . . . It's a deep meditation on time and endurance.” ―Los Angeles Times
“Whatever child likes The Bat-Poet or Charlotte's Web will love the way Steig uses our language and will want to relive Abel's odyssey on many a rainy Sunday afternoon.” ―Rosemary Wells, The Washington Post Book World
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Top Customer Reviews
William Steig's books are always surprisingly complex once you delve a little beneath the surface. Abel discovers a new part of his true mouse self, a base, wild creature who survives on seeds and nuts and can gnaw his way through wood. But he also develops his artistic talents as a sculptor and thus needn't depend on Mommy's wealth any more when he finally returns to society. There is delightful interplay here between seemingly contradicting messages: Must one learn to accept one's true nature? Or must we go through trials and challenges to develop our "civilized" talents?
An aspect of Steig's writing that never fails to captivate children is that he doesn't write "down" to them. He challenges them to new levels of sophistication, and children respond wholeheartedly to this. He uses lots of very big, fancy words, which never slow the story down or make it too difficult, but intrigue children more and more about language.
A great "while reading" strategy is to make a chart to record the problem, the solutions tried, and the results. The main problem is that Abel is stranded on an island. He tries many, many solutions, and they all fail until the very last one. Having this on a chart makes clear to kids that one must often try over and over until one succeeds, but NEVER GIVE UP TRYING! And, maybe even enjoy the meantime!
I would highly recommend this as a book to read and discuss with children, however, it makes a wonderful book to read independently as it is short and has great pictures.
Abel's island was a good book. Abel's Island is about a small mouse who gets stranded on an island while trying to save a scarf for his new wife in a hurricane, and the wind drags him to a piece of wood that has a rusted nail sticking out of it. Then the piece of wood drags him off to a river that has a waterfall at the end of it. He falls down the waterfall and gets so tired that he just falls asleep, then when he wakes up Abel finds himself on a mysterious island (1,200 tails long). He finds himself stuck in a tree and he is so hungry that he takes a leaf and starts chewing on it "Mmm cherry branch", Abel says.
He thinks of a way to use the piece of wood as a fort that he can stay in. Then he thinks that he could turn it upside down and push it down about a tail and sleep under it. But soon he finds out that it will easily fall away so he walks around the island and finds an old rotten log that he can sleep in. So he gathers a bunch of seeds that he can eat and plants like grapes he can squeeze the juice out of and drink it. He finds a little hole that he can put the seeds in and finds another room he can put shutters and the milkweed in. He fixes up the milkweed and he makes a bed.
And so begins Abel's adventure on the island.
William Steig made a great book it shows that evn if you're lost dont try to give up hope.
I had to read this in Mrs.vacciano's book club in the fifth grade and i'm glad she's my teacher this year!!!!!
It is the story of Abel, a mouse who one day is separated from his wife by a terrible storm. Abel had been a rich, secure mouse in his former life. But in his new life, alone on an island, he learns to challenge himself. His experiences give him great insights into his true being. He also learns to appreciate that he really had in his former life, especially the love of his wife.
The plot is very simple to the novel. Abel has to survive and try to get back to his wife. It is very Robinson Crusoesque. But the novel is told with such warmth and humor that the reader is totally enraptured by this tale. The prose is so beautiful, the character's so endearing, and the insights are so great that no one who reads it will ever forget it. I just finished carrying it around for a couple of days on a college campus while I was rereading it, and it was seen and remembered by so many of my fellow students who cherished as students. Any child should read this as should any adult.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Normal story same stuff mouse got stuck on a island and lives there just boring he found home and happily ever afterPublished 18 days ago by Sadie Annabelle
This was the best book I've ever read I would strongly recommend this book to kids in middle school the vocab was great.Published 2 months ago by Chelsea Meadows
prepared me for 14 months of being disabled and living with family! I bought it for my granddaughter because it was a Newberry Award winner--I ended up reading it and benefitting. Read morePublished 4 months ago by knotty pine
(from my 10-year old): Abel's Island was a cute and fun book, even though it's not my type of book. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I like the way William Steig writes but the story's plot was not so good.Published 7 months ago by Chicken Jim
Great story! Read this when I was in sixth grade (1975). I then came across it on here and read it. Still a great story at 46.Published 7 months ago by RMA
2 stars and that's what I would tell u to put to please get his book if u interested in begin on a islandPublished 8 months ago by Dorcas M Morris