Island in the Sun

Island in the Sun

by Harry Belafonte, Alex Ayliffe
     
 

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On Jamaica, a place full of magical sunsets and shining sand, a man thinks of his family and remembers the sounds of calypso during carnival. "I hope the day will never come," he sings, "that I can't awake to the sound of drum." Harry Belafonte's classic song, combined with Alex Ayliffe's bright, energetic artwork, will enchant young and old alike.

"Children

Overview

On Jamaica, a place full of magical sunsets and shining sand, a man thinks of his family and remembers the sounds of calypso during carnival. "I hope the day will never come," he sings, "that I can't awake to the sound of drum." Harry Belafonte's classic song, combined with Alex Ayliffe's bright, energetic artwork, will enchant young and old alike.

"Children who have never been to the Caribbean will get a feel for the details and pace of island life. Lilting and lovely."
-Booklist

Author Biography: Harry Belafonte is an internationally known musician, actor and writer.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Turning the pages of this sunny picture book, adapted from one of Belafonte's hit songs, readers can almost feel a gentle ocean breeze and hear a calypso beat. Belafonte and Burgess pay tribute to the natural beauty of Jamaica and its hardworking people, describing scenes Belafonte fondly recalls from the five years he spent as a child on that island. "This is my island in the sun/ Where my people have toiled since time begun./ Tho I may sail on many a sea,/ Her shores will always be home to me." In some of her strongest work, Ayliffe's (Something Special) bright, distinctive cut-paper collages feature lush green palm trees, radiantly blooming flowers and a gorgeous cerulean sky. Men in straw hats gather coconuts and haul them to a busy market that crackles in confetti colors. A woman labors to cut long brown stalks of sugar cane for her family and a fisherman casts his net into the frothy waves. But there is time for fun, too: farmworkers take a break for the island equivalent of backgammon; young men jam on big drums; everyone dances the night away during carnival. This vibrant outing is the armchair equivalent of a Caribbean vacation. Ages 3-7. (May)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Island in the sun is a joyous evocation of Belafonte's feelings for his native home in Jamaica. Ayliffe's exotic colorful collages create the perfect scene for this rhythmical song. I wish that a CD of Harry singing accompanied the book.
Children's Literature - Sharon Tolle
This book is a tribute to Harry Belafonte and Lord Burgess' song "Island in the Sun." Each page takes a line from their song and is boldly illustrated with tropical flair. From the sugar cane fields to the island sunsets the reader experiences Jamaican charm from the songwriters point of view. Priceless memories of island days and how the people living there feel about their heritage are share in this book. The strong colors complement this internationally known song. This is an entertaining book and will definitely put readers in a festive mood. 1999, (orig.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Primitive-style illustrations by Alex Ayliffe show the beauty of island life as they depict the song's descriptions of calypso, cane cutting, casting nets, and carnival. You may remember this song, but if you don't the piano music and words are included. I have to admit, I wished for a tape or CD, but parents with, or without musical talents, will enjoy sharing the culture with their children.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 4-This picture-book version of a calypso song recorded by Belafonte in the 1950s is a paean to a beautiful tropical island. Each four-line verse describes an aspect of life there and is followed by the chorus singing praises of its beauty. Some of the lines are better when sung than when read, e.g., "Never let me miss carnival,/With calypso songs/philosophical," but throughout, a wishful longing is clearly expressed. Every two-line description is accompanied by a colorful double-page collage illustration. The pictures are alive with activity directly related to and enhancing the text. The sun is so burning, the pictures so bright, and the people so busy that readers will feel the perspiration and reach for their sunglasses. With this brief combination of words and pictures, children experience life on the island where there is hard work, joyous fun, and beauty all around.-Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Belafonte and Burgess's charmer of a calypso song is set to Ayliffe's lively, tropics-shimmering, cut-paper collage. Anyone familiar with the tune (or who can read music, as the score is included at both ends of the book) will be happy to endow a reading with the beat, but the story also works very nicely on its own. It is a love song for Jamaica, to the beauties of place and culture, to those elements of the island that bring a smile to the faces of those who have visited or lived there. The book is also testament to the power of calypso, with its evocative language and phrasing that can lodge in the mind and endure: "When morning breaks the heaven on high,/I lift my heavy load to the sky," and "I hope the day will never come/That I can't wake to the sound of the drum." (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140568356
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/27/2001
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
2 - 6 Years

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