Monday, January 14, 2008

Children's Book Monday - Island Boy


A Path Made Straight is hosting a "Children's Book Monday" that I am participating in again.

Title: Island Boy
Author: Barbara Cooney
Illustrator: Barbara Cooney

I enjoy a lot of Barbara Cooney books...sometimes she is only the illustrator - other times the author and illustrator.

This is a book that would be suitable for children about ages 5 and up. Due to the fact that there is a lot of text on each page, and the subject matter - it's a good read out loud book.

The story does deal with death. And just re-reading the book now has made ME all teary eyed. So you'd definitely want to pre-read it before reading it aloud to your children - to see if it's something that you think would be suitable for them. There are a lot of colorful, scenic pictures.

This is one of those books that is interesting for the parent reading the story and the children listening to it. A vital combination in my opinion!

Island Boy is the story of a boy who grows up on an island with his family. The island was vacant except for his family's home...a household filled with children. The mama was a homeschooler :)


The story continues with the boy - Matthais, growing older, working with his brothers and dad. Matthais' siblings grow up and leave the island and he alone is left with his parents. Eventually he is old enough to leave home and gets a job on a ship.

Matthais travels all over - to Boston, New York and the West Indies. After 15 years of being away from home - he cannot forget the island - and he says one day he'll return home. And he does.

He returns home with his new bride - and becomes the father of 3 little girls. His brothers encourage him to move to the mainland, thinking he cannot farm without any sons. But he refuses.

More times passes. Matthais' girls become young ladies and move away. Matthais and his wife continue living alone on the island. But soon - other people start building cottages on the island - and again family tries to convince Matthais and his wife to move away. He refuses.

Then Matthais' wife dies. Still he does not leave. Every summer his daughter Annie sends her son out to the island to live with him for the season. Then Annie's husband dies. Annie and her son move in with Matthais on the island.

One day the little boy says to his grandfather "I too shall be a sea captain when I grow up...and then I will come back and live on Tibbetts Island." "It is good to see the world beyond the bay...they you will know where your heart lies." replies Matthais. "I already know," said the little boy (also named Matthais).

One day grandpa Matthais goes out in his little boat and is never seen alive again.

"The people climbed the hill and crowded into the little farmhouse to pay their respects to the steadfast old man of Tibbetts Island. "A good man," young Matthais heard them say. "A good life."

3 comments:

Kim said...

It sounds like a great tribute to a life well-lived.

Renee's Reading Corner said...

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing.

Elise said...

Oh, how we love Island Boy. It's actually tucked away in the bookshelves right now, though- reading your review makes me want to pull it out and read it with the children today! Thanks so much!