Sunday, March 18, 2007

No child is an island

Lola M. Schaefer's An Island Grows is another superb non-fiction picture book. In spare, rhyming, but never cloying, poetry, she describes the growth of an island from undersea earthquake to volcanic eruption to a "Busy island in the sea, where only water used to be." Cathie Felstead's vibrant and simple collages are both engaging and explanatory. As in all good picture books, the words and the pictures form a happy union that is nearly unbreakable. One without the other is so much less than the sum of the parts. Recommended reading and a short explanation of how islands are formed complete the book. We've enjoyed this one very much, having discussions about volcanoes (always a hot topic) and islands. Little brother has taken to painting volcanoes, occasionally accompanied by his other favorite item de jour: eggies (that's dippy eggs here in the middle of Pennsylvania Dutch country or over-easy to the rest of the world). In fact, hanging on my office wall is a sure masterpiece: Volcano and eggies.