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Island in the Sun (Picture Books) Hardcover – April 26, 1999

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Turning the pages of this sunny picture book, adapted from one of Belafonte's hit songs, readers can almost feel a gentle ocean breeze and hear a calypso beat. Belafonte and Burgess pay tribute to the natural beauty of Jamaica and its hardworking people, describing scenes Belafonte fondly recalls from the five years he spent as a child on that island. "This is my island in the sun/ Where my people have toiled since time begun./ Tho I may sail on many a sea,/ Her shores will always be home to me." In some of her strongest work, Ayliffe's (Something Special) bright, distinctive cut-paper collages feature lush green palm trees, radiantly blooming flowers and a gorgeous cerulean sky. Men in straw hats gather coconuts and haul them to a busy market that crackles in confetti colors. A woman labors to cut long brown stalks of sugar cane for her family and a fisherman casts his net into the frothy waves. But there is time for fun, too: farmworkers take a break for the island equivalent of backgammon; young men jam on big drums; everyone dances the night away during carnival. This vibrant outing is the armchair equivalent of a Caribbean vacation. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 4-This picture-book version of a calypso song recorded by Belafonte in the 1950s is a paean to a beautiful tropical island. Each four-line verse describes an aspect of life there and is followed by the chorus singing praises of its beauty. Some of the lines are better when sung than when read, e.g., "Never let me miss carnival,/With calypso songs/philosophical," but throughout, a wishful longing is clearly expressed. Every two-line description is accompanied by a colorful double-page collage illustration. The pictures are alive with activity directly related to and enhancing the text. The sun is so burning, the pictures so bright, and the people so busy that readers will feel the perspiration and reach for their sunglasses. With this brief combination of words and pictures, children experience life on the island where there is hard work, joyous fun, and beauty all around.
Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Series: Picture Books
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial; 1st edition (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803723873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803723870
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 0.4 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,652,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Read this as a book or sing it as a song. This beloved calypso song leads reluctant readers to read as they sing. The illustrations are as bright and atractive as the lyrics. I keep a basket of "Sing Alouds" next to my reading chair. They lift my spirits as well as those of my students. I only wish more of the spirited songs Harry Belefonte introduced to us in the 1960's were available for me to share with my students.
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Format: Hardcover
Places in the heart of Harry Belafonte are captured in this charming book which reflects the beauty of the land of his birth, his island in the sun, Jamaica. White sands, lush colorful flora, lovely images match the lyrics of a song made famous by Mr Belafonte years ago. Children will embrace the pictures and follow the words with laughter. Their parents will remember swaying to lilting calypso rhythms. The next time you are at a baseball or basketball game and you hear a clear distinct "Day-O!", and find yourself and the entire crowd singing right back- -- remember you're responding to none other than this author, Harry Belafonte. That's his voice. So "Come Mr Tallyman- tally me banana- daylight come and me wan' go home."
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