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The Little Island [Paperback]

Margaret Wise Brown , Leonard Weisgard
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 8.99
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Book Description

Oct. 1 1993 Dell Picture Yearling
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.

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The Little Island + A Tree Is Nice + Once a Mouse...
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Product Description

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.

About the Author

Margaret Wise Brown, who also wrote under the pseudonym of Golden MacDonald, published more than 100 books for children.

Leonard Weisgard illustrated more than 100 children’s books.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! An A+ First Quality Book!!! Jan. 24 2002
Format:Paperback
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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3.0 out of 5 stars The weather started getting rough.... Feb. 29 2004
Format:Paperback
Published just after the end of World War II, "The Little Island" garnered itself a prestigious Caldecott medal for exemplary plot and illustrations in a picture book. Looking at it today, I'm a little surprised. The book does have a sweet little story. Describing the daily events that occur on a small island in the beautiful blue ocean, the story eventually focuses its attention on a black kitten that visits the island for a while. The kitten explores and speaks with the island and its fish, discovering the nature of, "how all land is one land under the sea". In the end, the kitten leaves and the island is subject to the wild storms and animals that seek its shores.
I like the story of the kitten and I like the words Golden MacDonald has chosen to convey nature's mysteries. "The cat's eyes were shining with the secret of it. And because he loved secrets he believed. And he let the fish go". So no quarrel here with the text. Top notch. Two thumbs up. It's the illustrations I have a bone to pick with.
When you think of the fine illustrators of the past, geniuses like Robert McCloskey or James Thurber come to mind. Less likely to appear in one's brain is a Mr. Leonard Weisgard. In creating this book, Weisgard begins strongly. The opening pages reveal a black and white kingfisher smiling benignly at the viewer. The little island, obviously somewhat close to North American shores due to its pine trees and native plants, is rendered lovingly in the first few spreads. But then the descriptions increase and the pictures do not compliment the words. We are told that, "Small flowers, white and blue and violets with golden eyes and little waxy white-pink chuckleberry blossoms and one tickly smelling pear tree bloomed on the Island". Great. Now where are they?
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful, simply. July 23 2001
Format:Paperback
well, i'll find Donald Wayne Mitchell ("Top 10 Reviewer", above) a hard act to follow, or easy, if i simply say, "yeah, what he said." i have a copy of this book. i don't plan to give it away, at least not right now, i just have it. i just like to pick it up at times and look at some of the pictures, and read some of the words: "...And the fish told the kitten how all land is one land under the sea. The cat's eyes were shining with the secret of it. And because he loved secrets he believed. And he let the fish go." yes, as my contemporary points out, this book does work at more than one level, and masterfully so. for no more than this book costs, there is no reason not to get it. it is a jewel.
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