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Isle of You by David LaRochelle

Isle of You

by David LaRochelle

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Showing 4 of 4
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a beautiful book. It's easy to feel absorbed in the full page illustrations and happy colour scheme. The pages are a little slipper for dry hands, but good quality it seems, and the hardcover has the title text in shiny blue.

The gentle narration guides a reader through the Isle that is a place for someone to go when they feel sad or angry fro any sort of reason. The book feels calming and thoughtful, like an early approach to mediation using familiar childhood ideas.

It didn't click right away until I read the book, but consider the title for a moment, and maybe say it out loud. ( )
  WeeTurtle | Jan 17, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Isle of you is a story created to inspire imagination in children when they are in a mood. It is reminiscent of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, only instead of monster like wild-things the Isle of You is all gumdrops and lollipops (or in this case Polar bears in tutus). The illustrations are vibrant watercolours that are dreamlike and will definitely spark imagination.

I like that the child in the book is nameless, to allow the reader to imagine they are in the story themselves. However, I found the overall message of the book a little disappointing. Max, in Where the Wild Things Are, comes to the conclusion on his own that he must go home because, ultimately, home is where he is loved. In the Isle of You it is the polar bears that sends the child home but welcome the child back whenever they like. So while I love that the book encourages imagination and sends the message that it is okay to want to be on your own I just can't help but feel that there should also be more emphasis on how your family is also there for you.

Thank you to Candlewick Press and LibraryThing Early Reviewers for the review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  librarianpenguin | Jan 11, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An utterly charming book. The protagonist is gently taken from a bad day and a grumpy mood to a magical place, where her choices matter. The primary portion of the book offers up a number of different imaginary scenarios of wonder and enchantment, and ends in a place of comfort and safety.

The life of a young child can be frustrating, especially given just how much is out of their control. What I like best about this book is how it offers up that control to the child, even if only in imagination. I look forward to my daughter getting to read this book once she's a bit older. ( )
  shabacus | Jan 9, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book for very young children is sort of a kinder, gentler analogue to Where the Wild Things Are. The little girl who is the protagonist has gone to bed, but can’t sleep:

“Was today a hard day?
Are you feeling sad?
Maybe a little angry?”

This author proposes that the little girl take a trip through her imagination to “The Isle of You.” In this place, all of her dreams can come true. There’s a welcoming committee who helps her do whatever she wants to do:

“Swim in the waterfall?
Ride a stallion across the sand?
Climb a mountain?
Hunt for treasure with some newfound friends?”

She can dress up and have her favorite desserts. She can even go for a balloon ride!

At the end of a long day, she is feeling better:

“It’s time to say your goodbyes. But don’t worry - you can come back when ever you’d like. And the next time you’re feeling sad, remember:
Isle of You.”

Jaime Kim uses gouache and acrylics to create the dreamlike landscapes in the Isle of You.

Evaluation: I thought the story rather insipid - personally, I’d rather go to where the wild things are…. However, children may find comfort in the message. But are escapism and sugary desserts the best way to handle negative emotions? Certainly this book may fill the need of calming a child, but I would have liked to see, in addition, encouragement to express feelings constructively and to look for solutions to a problem. Parental guidance can supplement the text with ideas for ways to handle frustration, anger, or sadness. ( )
  nbmars | Jan 8, 2019 |
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