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The Little Island (Dell Picture Yearling) Paperback – October 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 590L (What's this?)
  • Series: Dell Picture Yearling
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Dragonfly Books; Reissue edition (October 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044040830X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440408307
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.5 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Once there was a little island in the ocean. That little island changes as the seasons come and go. The storm and the day and night change it. So do the lobsters and seals and gulls that stop by. Then one day a kitten visits the little island and learns a secret that every child will enjoy.

From the Inside Flap

Once there was a little island in the ocean. That little island changes as the seasons come and go. The storm and the day and night change it. So do the lobsters and seals and gulls that stop by. Then one day a kitten visits the little island and learns a secret that every child will enjoy.

Customer Reviews

This is a great learning tool for children.
D. Blankenship
Might I say, Ms. Brown's prose is beautifully descriptive as well as the illustrations!
Sydelle Jones
My 2 1/2 year old has loved this book for the past 6 months.
Josselyn M. Borowiec

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Library Binding
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.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sydelle Jones on July 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When I first bought the book, my 20 month old son was not interested! He didn't get the idea of an island. I loved the little story, so I persisted in reading it to him. When the winds blew on the island, I blew in his face. When the spiders spun their webs, I gave him little spider bites. When it showed the "tickly smelling pear tree" I tickled him. When the lobsters came, so did my claws! We barked like seals when they came to the island, and we fed each other strawberries fresh off the page when spring came! When the seagull lay her eggs, I dared him to try to get them and then I protected them as if I was the mama seagull. Of course, he knows them as the "my, my" birds. The fish jumped, the crow cawed, the cat came and so did the storms. The louder I boomed like thunder and splatted like lightening, the more my little boy loved it!! This treasure of a book is more suitable for older children who can digest the moral of this story, but my 20 month old son now loves it too, thanks to a little physical interaction while reading it! Might I say, Ms. Brown's prose is beautifully descriptive as well as the illustrations!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Hayman on April 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
None of the reviews here seem to "get" the aspect of the book that struck me the most. We just received The Little Island as a gift for our two-year-old daughter's birthday. I had never heard of the book before, but Margaret Wise Brown is one of my favorite children's authors. My daughter is still too young for this book, but when I read it myself for the first time I was struck with wonder at how different, beautiful, and magical is was, and it made me cry.

Other reviewers have noted the descriptions of plants and wildlife, and yes, these aspects are beautiful. But the "meat" of the book is when a cat comes to the island with its people on a boat, and learns that the island is much more than it seems. The pages describing the cat's journey to knowledge are magical. The cat thinks that the island doesn't matter much, because it's not connected to the world around it. 'Yes I am', says the island; 'ask the fish'. The cat catches a fish and demands to know how the island is part of the bigger land. 'Come with me', says the fish. 'I cannot swim', says the cat. 'Then you will have to take it on faith', says the fish. 'What is that - faith?' asks the cat. "Faith is to believe what I tell you about what you don't know", says the fish. (That line almost knocked me over; what a wonderful piece of writing!) "All lands are one land under the sea", says the fish. The cat realizes he has learned a great truth, and his eyes "were shining with the secret of it, and because he loved secrets, he let the fish go". Then the cat leaves the island, and the island settles back into the timeless cycle of the seasons.

Like Margaret Wise Brown's other books, this one looks at the world with a sense of wonder and discovery, and maybe makes both parent and child see things with a new set of eyes.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ava Esposito on January 24, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even if this book had no words, I would still love it, because the illustrations are that brilliant!!~~
The wording is quite clever.
This story tells about a little island, and the changing seasons it lives through.
This island is home to many creatures, and serves many, many purposes.
Lobsters crawl underneath the island to find dark hiding places.
Seals come to have and raise babies.
Birds come to build nests and lay eggs.
In spring, flowers bloom on this little island. In summer, strawberries ripen.
One day, a family on a boat stops at the island for an afternoon picnic. With them, there is a black kitty.
The kitty observes:
"My what a small island. You are as small as big is big."
The island converses with this kitty, and teaches him that everything is a wonderful part of this world, and equally unique and important.
The kitty learns a secret from a fish- 'All land is one land under the sea'.
In autumn, the pears ripen on the lone pear tree on the island, and finally winter comes with snow.
It was good to be a little island. A part of the world, and a world of its own.
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