The Faraway Island

Overview

"There once was an unhappy man who longed to be all on his own," begins this delightful story. The unhappy man jumps ship and swims to a barren rock sticking up out of the sea where he plants rice. But he hides when sailors come ashore, and they are amazed to discover rice growing on what seems to be an uninhabited island. Every time they come, they leave behind more plants and birds, and soon the island is bursting with fat bananas, juicy pineapples, and plump dates. What happens when the Queen of Portugal hears about this lush island where

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Overview

"There once was an unhappy man who longed to be all on his own," begins this delightful story. The unhappy man jumps ship and swims to a barren rock sticking up out of the sea where he plants rice. But he hides when sailors come ashore, and they are amazed to discover rice growing on what seems to be an uninhabited island. Every time they come, they leave behind more plants and birds, and soon the island is bursting with fat bananas, juicy pineapples, and plump dates. What happens when the Queen of Portugal hears about this lush island where sailors have planted her flag?

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 1-4

This simply told tale is based on the true story of Fernando Lopez, who single-handedly changed a barren island in the middle of the Atlantic into beautiful St. Helena, turning it into a stopping-off point for Portuguese sailors as they returned home from Asia. This account gives readers an idea of the recluse's solitary life. The text has a repetitive phrase, "just in case," as groups of sailors visit the island, take what they need, and leave something behind for him to plant or care for. The repetition simulates the back-and-forth motion of ocean waves and the give-and-take transformation of the island. The delicate folk art allows readers to watch as the desolate island becomes a jewel in the middle of the ocean. Large illustrations on every page make this a good read-aloud, and the author's note gives readers additional information on why a man would choose to live in such isolation. Useful as a read-aloud in units on early sea exploration, trade routes to Asia, and Christopher Columbus, this gentle story makes a lovely addition to most libraries.-Nancy Baumann, Indian Paintbrush Elementary, Laramie, WY

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845076443
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.80 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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