Read Island (Nicole Magistro)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Read Island, written by Nicole Magistro and illustrated by Alice Feagan, a sweet, imaginative journey into the world of reading.

A young girl and her animal companions – a bespectacled fox and beanie-wearing mouse – set sail one morning to a magical place: Read Island, a distant isle filled with books and the animals who love them. As the girl’s sailboat approaches, a sea wolf calls the other inhabitants of the island to gather for storytime. The creatures and girl circle up on the beach for a tale led by the sea wolf, after which they celebrate by heading off on their own literary adventures. The day ends with the sailors and their island friends waving goodbye as the sun sets, and a moon rises over the adventurous readers.

Slightly uneven but earnestly sweet. The trip to Read Island is a delightful one, conjuring images of both a trip to the library or bookstore, and of simply getting lost in the world of a captivating book. And while the rhyming text and expressive artwork each capture this in their own unique way, the two sometimes feel as if they belong in two different picture books. The text is lyrical, full of soft and wistful imagery that often feels out of place next to the more cartoonish, whimsical artwork. Both fit the theme well, and I especially loved details like the moose storing books in his antlers or clever incorporation of mixed-media printed words into the illustrations; they just occasionally felt disconnected from each other. There are a few notable exceptions, such as a stunning spread that shows a myriad of worlds bursting forth from the pages of the fox’s book. Otherwise, the length was great for a storytime, and JJ enjoyed it. Overall, this is one worth checking out, especially for it’s pro-literacy message; the waters around Read Island may be a little rocky, but it’s worth the trip. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)