Fog Island

Overview

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Top 10 Children?s Book 2013 ? New York Times Book Review

A Publishers Weekly Best Children?s Book of 2013

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children?s Book of 2013"

Tomi Ungerer has created another masterpiece." ? Eric Carle

In this imaginative tale from master storyteller Tomi Ungerer, two young siblings find themselves cast away on ...

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Overview

"

Top 10 Children’s Book 2013 – New York Times Book Review

A Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of 2013

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2013"

Tomi Ungerer has created another masterpiece." – Eric Carle

In this imaginative tale from master storyteller Tomi Ungerer, two young siblings find themselves cast away on mysterious Fog Island. No one has ever returned from the island’s murky shores, but when the children begin to explore, they discover things are not quite as they expected.

Ungerer’s captivating drawings evoke the eerie beauty and magic surrounding this timeless adventure. Selected by both The New York Times and Publishers Weekly as one of the year’s best children’s books, Fog Island is destined to become a modern classic."

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2013

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Leonard S. Marcus
Ungerer's drawings, like blowups of panels from an Expressionist graphic novel, are cartoonishly raw and emotionally penetrating, though they come with a generous dash of silly sight gags, too. Here, with a becoming respect for children's curiosity about the forces that govern the world and their role in that grand scheme, Ungerer takes young readers to a place they have never been before, and he does the same for the picture book.
Publishers Weekly
Any new book from Ungerer is a cause for celebration, and this one offers a particularly enticing blend of mystery and magic. Siblings Finn and Cara live “by the sea in the back of beyond” with their parents, and the book’s early scenes offer homey details of the family’s poor but happy life in what is presumably Ireland (to which the book is dedicated). The children’s father makes them a small boat, a curragh, warning them to steer clear of Fog Island, “a doomed and evil place.” Of course, that’s exactly where the children end up. Surreal, mist-shrouded images build a sense of strangeness and tension. Tall anthropomorphic rocks flank a winding staircase, peering at the children suspiciously, and green skeletal arms cling to the door at the top of the stairs, where the children are greeted by a “wizened old man,” who shares some of the island’s secrets while leaving them with new questions. It’s the kind of classic adventure that allows children to triumph over convention and common sense, threaded with peculiar imagery and unknowable mysteries that linger in the imagination. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"

Top 10 Children’s Book 2013 – New York Times Book Review"

A particularly enticing blend of mystery and magic. . . the kind of classic adventure that allows children to triumph over convention and common sense." – Publishers Weekly, Starred Review"

Here, with a becoming respect for children’s curiosity about the forces that govern the world and their role in that grand scheme, Ungerer takes young readers to a place they have never been before, and he does the same for the picture book." – Leonard S. Marcus, The New York Times Book Review"

An atmospheric, folkloric adventure. . . this is a poignant, magical gift for all of us." – Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review"

The New York Times Book Review
Here, with a becoming respect for children's curiosity about the forces that govern the world and their role in that grand scheme, Ungerer takes young readers to a place they have never been before, and he does the same for the picture book.
Leonard S. Marcus
Here, with a becoming respect for children's curiosity about the forces that govern the world and their role in that grand scheme, Ungerer takes young readers to a place they have never been before, and he does the same for the picture book.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Full of suspense and magic, this captivating adventure is set amid the harsh landscape of Ireland's west coast. Resourceful Finn and his sister, Cara, live with their parents, who make a living by fishing and farming-"The family was poor yet grateful to survive on what they had." The spare text captures the lilt of country folk, as well as their superstitions. Ungerer creates an eerie atmosphere by using a palette of predominantly somber hues of gray, black, brown, and blue. The art is dramatic and powerful; the cover spread of fog-enshrouded children glows with breathtaking beauty. After their father builds a small curragh for his son and daughter, he warms them never to go to Fog Island, a "doomed and evil place," but one day they find themselves lost in a fog and currents carry them to there. Once they land, the curious youngsters climb a set of slippery stairs with creepy faces peering at them and skeletonlike vines intertwined among the rocks. But the person who answers the door at the top is the rather lonely and congenial Fog Man. He shows them how he makes fog, serves them a strange fish stew, and tucks them into bed. When they awake the next morning, they find themselves lying among ruins with no one in sight, but with steaming bowls of stew by their side. Literal-minded readers might wonder why the Fog Man's lair appears to be underwater, when the children walked so far up the steps to find it. And the subsequent storm and rescue at sea seems tacked on. Nevertheless, this intriguing story will ignite discussion on the central question-was the Fog Man real, or a dream?—Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Kirkus Reviews
The renowned Ungerer presents an atmospheric, folkloric adventure celebrating the childhood imagination's ability to transform fear. Finn, Cara and their parents farm traditionally along the coast, raising food, fishing, cutting peat and spinning wool. Their father builds his children a rowboat (called a curragh), admonishing them to avoid eerie Fog Island. While the siblings are out exploring, an enveloping fog and strong currents necessitate an emergency landing on the island. Climbing steps up spooky rock cliffs, they encounter the Fog Man, his hair and beard cascading to his ankles. After showing them how he uses valves, the Earth's magma and seawater to make fog, he provides songs, seafood stew and a good night's rest. Next morning, though they wake in a ruined room with no sign of the Fog Man, bowls of hot stew await them. Finn and Cara's mysterious, shared experiences on Fog Island belie their neighbors' skepticism, and when, weeks later, Cara finds a very long hair in her soup, they giggle knowingly. Ungerer's pictures are cloaked in deliberate, misty grays and browns, accented with blue-green and red. Details abound, including sly ones: Might that be the author, fiddling at the pub, just below a mysterious, flowing mane of hair? The publisher's ever-lovely bookmaking is evidenced in the creamy stock, crisp typography and embossed boards. Dedicated to Ungerer's adopted Ireland and its people, this is a poignant, magical gift for us all. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714865355
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press
  • Publication date: 4/16/2013
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 315,246
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

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Born in Strasbourg, in the Alsace region of France, in 1931, Tomi Ungerer started drawing as a small boy. He published his first book for children, The Mellops Go Flying, in 1957, and went on to publish 80 books over the next ten years, covering all aspects of his work. Phaidon has published many of his classics such as The Three Robbers, Moon Man, and Adelaide as well as new books for children such as Otto and the upcoming re-release of The Beast of Monsieur Racine, a star—reviewed book in Kirkus 1963. In 2003 the European Council chose Tomi Ungerer as their first Ambassador for Childhood and Education and in 2007 the Tomi Ungerer Museum in Strasbourg opened its doors to the public and has since been voted one of the 10 best museums in Europe by the European Council. A contemporary of Maurice Sendak, Ungerer was recently featured in a documentary, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough, a New York Times Critics' Pick."

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