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The Story of the Blue Planet Hardcover – November 27, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Magnason’s writing is lean, swift and often lyrical. . . immensely satisfying — a major contribution to the sparsely populated eco-lit genre, and one that could entice other authors to contribute.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Magnason’s beautifully illustrated and expertly translated book is charming, eccentric, moving, and humbling – often reminiscent of Roald Dahl or William Steig.  It’s a magical coming-of-age story that may also remind adults to appreciate the here and the now, and that the grass on the other side may appear greener, but that doesn’t mean it’s better.”—Typographical Era

“It's a delightful and pointed tale. Indeed, The Story of the Blue Planet, aided by Aslaug Jonsdottir's fanciful and evocative illustrations, raises important issues about greed, collaboration, friendship and trust that will kick-start discussions among children and their caretakers. Home and school libraries would do well to add it to their collections.”—Truthout

“The sound ecological message that is conveyed in The Story of the Blue Planet has justifiably met with widespread international acclaim, with the book having won numerous highly sought-after prizes, and being the first chidren’s book to be awarded the Icelandic Literary Prize."—Book Pleasures

"Adventurous and entertaining...the illustrations are lovely and offer a visual stimulus for the story.”—Books for Kids  

“Those who enjoyed Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grimm (Dutton, 2010) may find Magnason's cautionary ecological tale a perfect complement. Well-paced, with some wonderful, story-enhancing color illustrations.”—School Library Journal 

About the Author

Andri Snær Magnason is one of Iceland's most celebrated young writers. He has written poetry, plays, fiction, and non-fiction, and in 2009 he co-directed the documentary Dreamland, which was based on his book Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation. In 2002 LoveStar was named "Novel of the Year" by Icelandic booksellers and received the DV Literary Award and a nomination for the Icelandic Literary Prize. LoveStar was also shortlisted for the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award. His children's book, The Story of the Blue Planet—now published or performed in twenty-six countries—was the first children's book to receive the Icelandic Literary Prize, and was also the recipient of the Janusz Korczak Honorary Award and the West Nordic Children's Book Prize. Andri is the winner of the 2010 Kairos Award.

Áslaug Jónsdóttir is an illustrator, author of children’s books, artist, and graphic designer. She has written and illustrated several books for children, amongst them The Egg (Eggið, 2003), I Want Fish! (Ég vil fisk! 2007), and the award-winning Good Evening (Gott kvöld, 2005), which received The Bookseller’s Prize as the best children’s book of 2005, The Icelandic Illustration Award, The Reykjavik Educational Council Children’s Book Prize, and was nominated for The Nordic Children’s Book Award.

Julian Meldon D’Arcy is Professor of English Literature at the University of Iceland. He has written books on Scottish literature and sports, and has translated novels, poetry, and films from Icelandic, including the children’s books Flowers on the Roof and The Fisherman’s Boy and the Seal.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Triangle Square (November 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609804287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609804282
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #781,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dena on February 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I think that each of us has a miniature version of Jolly Goodday (Gleesome Goodday in the synopsis) sitting on our shoulder, whispering to us. The choice we all have to make is whether or not we are going to listen to him.

The Story of the Blue Planet is fascinating on so many levels. It is more than just an adventure or a tale about the environment. It is a story that makes you think about yourself, about others, and about the world.

Is it right for you to deprive others of life's necessities in order for you to have more fun? This book helps children understand that actions have consequences. Sometimes, those consquences have dire effects on ourselves and on others. While this lesson applies to the environment, it can also be applied to every facet of life

Jolly Goodday represents the selfish and unconcerned side of all of us. He tells us half-truths and uses trickery to convince us that other people don't matter as much as ourselves. He says that we should think of our own pleasure first, no matter what it does to someone else. He is the little voice that demands to be satisfied, no matter the cost.

In addition to the many morals contained between it's pages, this story is adventurous and entertaining. I love books that can teach a lesson through storytelling. The illustrations are lovely and offer a visual stimulus for the story. This is one of those books that I think every child should read. It is targeted at kids, and it is the kind of literature that will give them pause and make them consider their actions. "Think before you act" is a big theme in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. C. Henderson on June 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
What essentially is freedom, and how does one person's hedonistic enjoyment of unbridled freedom impinge on the freedom of others? In a children's book falling within the eco-lit genre, the implications of this question are stretched to their full when one group of children, who are incentivized to satisfy their own immediate desire for pleasure, mindlessly pursue a course of inflicting environmental damage through their own willful actions, while ignoring the needs and basic human rights of others. The catalyst to their change in approach from one where "the well of youth in their hearts seemed limitless", and where they revel in simple childhood activities and exploration, to one of self-indulgence and mindlessness is a visitor to their island realm, the only adult to invade their child-filled, apparently idyllic paradise--and a sorry specimen of mankind he surely is, being one of the generally most despised and laughable members of the human race: a travelling salesman called Jolly Goodday.

In common with the stereotypical picture of the travelling salesman worldwide, Goodday promises to make the children's dreams come true and to bring joy into their lives. Little are they aware that they already live in such a dream-fulfilling and joyful world that Goodday's promises are merely deceptive and beguiling, being rooted in self-interest and unthwarted materialism. From this point forth, they set out on a course that can only bring despair and deep-seated dissatisfaction, not only for themselves, but also for those who live on the other side of the planet (whom they unknowingly plunge into darkness, so that they can procure all the light).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ink a Dink on June 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this book to read to my children and it has become one of our favorite books ever. The message in this book is HUGE - and the story is absolutely wonderful and exciting. When someone is being not too nice and selfish in our house - we now call it Jolly Gooddaying.

I have told several friends about Story of the Blue Planet and after they read the book, we all wonder why it's such a secret! This is just an amazing book. Children and adults alike will love this story. It will stick with you long after you close the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to us by a friend and my young daughter and I read it at bedtime. Kids living alone on an island truly appreciate the simple life as their joy comes from watching the starts and paying attention to the beautiful butterflies that live in a cave close by their camp. A grown-up man in a spaceship arrives one day and changes how they see their world. This amazing book has many lessons to share without being preachy. Made me think of Roald Dahl's stories as children are the heroes of their own stories there as well.
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