The Little Island

CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 1947

The Little Island

Margaret Wise Brown, author

Leonard Weisgard, illustrator

New York: Doubleday, 1946

40 pp.

Age: 3 +

Interests: nature, animals, birds, boats, islands

By the same author: Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny

A little island lies in the ocean. It is very small, boasting only seven big trees, seventeen small bushes and one big rock. However it is also a home to birds, butterflies, lobsters, seals and fish. Sometimes sailboats visit it in the summer. One such boat brings a curious kitten to the island, who learns a great secret from a fish. The sailboats leave, there is a great storm, fall arrives, and then winter.

And it was good to be a little Island,

A part of the world

and a world of its own

all surrounded by the bright blue sea.

A description of the quiet, daily events of life on a tiny, “uninhabited” island, pointing out how a small outcropping of rock can attract birds, bugs and sea creatures until it is teeming with life. What lifts this book above a simple “ode to nature” is the extra spark of mystery provided with the arrival of the kitten. The island and a fish both speak to the little kitten about what lies out of sight beneath the waves, and how an island can be part of the land too.

The cat’s eyes were shining with the secret of it.

And because he loved secrets he believed.

And he let the fish go.

The full-page illustrations are beautifully vivid and encourage the reader to always stop and take a closer look when out in the wild.

(This title at amazon.com)

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.
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