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*An Island in the Sun* by Stella Blackstone, illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli
Also written or illustrated by Stella Blackstone:

Alligator Alphabet

Bear about Town

Bear on a Bike

Bear in Sunshine

Cleo and Caspar

Cleo's Alphabet

Also illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli:

Horns and Wrinkles

The Faerie's Gift
An Island in the Sun
by Stella Blackstone, illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli
Ages 2-5 24 pages Barefoot Books March 2003 Paperback    

A young sailor is drifting along on the sea, observing the skies with his telescope. From morning to night, he sees many things: a bright sun, a spotted bird, and a playful dolphin. Each seems to be on a similar journey, because they all end up at the same destination. And what a welcome the boy receives when he gets there!

Just as the boy is in this book, readers of this story can be observers as well. There are many things to detect both in the water and at the final destination. In the water are frolicking fish, a ship’s steering wheel, a bottled message, even a boot. At the final destination are crabs, starfish, shells, and fish bones.

Just as the waves rise and fall under the boy’s boat, the one to three lines of text per page bob up and down like a gentle wave. Each line starts with the familiar “I spy with my little eye” and the rhyming text accumulates from there.

The illustrations, rendered in acrylics and oil pastels, are covered with blue wavy waters that seem to be taking us somewhere. The two-page illustrations show the vastness of the sea, and as we flip the page, the horizon seems to be getting closer and closer. The destination is near! One illustration even allows us to see the destination through the telescope. But as the sun sinks lower and the moon comes out, the sunny colors shade. This is the time for some to return home and for others to sleep right where they are.

Stella Blackstone, writer of the Cleo the Cat series, lives in England. No cats appear in this book, and although illustrator Nicoletta Ceccoli has two pet hens, no chickens are featured here either. Some other books illustrated by this award-winning illustrator include Horns and Wrinkles and The Princess and the White Bear King.

Together, Stella Blackstone and Nicoletta Ceccoli have created a calming book about a seafaring boy venturing out on his own with a telescope - and a good sense of direction!

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  Tanya Boudreau/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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