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Island Boy (Picture Puffins) Paperback – June 1, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
Praising Cooney's "wide, sweeping seascapes that contrast with the velvety, close-up interiors," PW added that the book "is an ode to simple acts of daily living. Not only one family's tale, this is also a cherishable glimpse of a bygone time." Ages 3-8.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3 Cooney's ongoing fascination with family ties and elder/younger relationships and her keen awareness of the interdependence of all people and their living styles are newly expressed in Island Boy. She steers her lyrical, lengthy illustrated story with confidence through four generations on a New England coastal island. Pa, Ma, and their 12 children settle the island. When he's ready, young Matthais sails with his uncle's schooner, first as cabin boy and 15 years later, as master. Finally acting on the pull of island memories, Matthais returns and soon marries Hannah, a schoolmistress from Boston. Matthais stays on Tibbetts Island after their three girls grow up and leave, and after Hannah's death. One year, his daughter Annie and her son join Matthais, until Matthais' accidental death. The text is occasionally poetic, with satisfyingly repetitive references to the astrakhan tree and the wild bird, for example, which underscore the book's continuity. Cooney's palette ranges from the clear greens and blues of the island and the water to the browns she employs effectively for domestic interiors and city street scenes. Her humans have individual characteristics. An endpaper map and a well-designed title page introduce this resolutely beautiful account of the interconnectedness of generations and lifestyles. Cooney's flawless transitions between the generations and between third-person points of view always maintain a child's perspective. Island Boy is certain to be a favorite for family sharing, as well as a must for school and public libraries. Teachers will love it; buy extra copies. Ginny Moore Kruse, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
However, it also has to be one of the most realistic and depressing stories for young readers that has been written. The different characters die, some violently, and the years pass without any uplifting passages.
While realism is to be applauded, reading this book to my four-year old grandson raised more troubling questions and fears than I felt were necessary. I recommend parents and grandparents read "Island Boy" prior to sharing it with children so the adult may determine whether the child, particularly those who may be more sensitive, is ready for the more depressing aspects of the book. It is because of this that I rated "Island Boy" a four-star book.
If you love Maine, especially Mid-Coast Maine, you will find it wonderfully familiar..
This should be in every little boy's library.