The Little Island by Golden MacDonald (aka Margaret Wise Brown)

by Margaret Wise Brown

Other authorsGolden MacDonald (Pen Name)
Paperback, 1988



Call number




Scolastic Inc. (1988), Edition: F Later Edition


Depicts the changes that occur on a small island as the seasons come and go, as day changes to night, and as a storm approaches.

User reviews

LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
This book doesn't have much of a plot- it describes what happens on an island throughout the year and explains to a cat that the island is part of the world- it's just connected underwater. Not a very good read, but full of observations of the natural world.
LibraryThing member JessicaMaeChap

There once was a little island and life happened there just like anywhere else in the world. A kitten traveled to the island and told the island it was not part of the world. The island said it was and suggested the kitten ask a fish. The fish told the kitten he could not show the kitten
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how the island was a part of the world, but the kitten must take what the fish said on faith. The kitten believed him and learned about faith.

Personal Reaction:

I enjoyed this book and probably would keep it in my classroom. I think it is a genius way to explain what an island is to kids. It also is a neat way to explain faith to kids which can be hard. Kids like animals and especially when they talk.

Classroom Extension Ideas:

1. Give each child a bowl and molding clay. Tell them to create a piece of land with a hill in the middle. Also give them some things to decorate the clay (animals, tress, et cetera). When they are finished give them enough blue-colored water to cover all of the bowl except for the hill. Tell the children just like in the story, even though the hill is surrounded by water it is still part of the earth. Under all of the ocean exists land.

2. The book talks about all of the seasons. Tell the children to pick a season and write all they know about that season.
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LibraryThing member ilovezeppe
This is by far one of the best older picture books I have read. The little island is a world of its own, going through seasons. The illustrations are amazing and breathtaking.
LibraryThing member kmacneill
This is about a little island in the ocean that is described through the weather and its habitats. The island seems like it is its own world going through the different seasons. A kitten comes to visit the island and discovers that the island is part of the whole world. It would be a great
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springboard to introduce island formation or various habitats.
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LibraryThing member Junep
PreSchool-K-An irresistible offering from the multifaceted Henkes. The spare and suspense-filled story concerns a kitten that mistakes the moon for a bowl of milk. When she opens her mouth to lick the treat, she ends up with a bug on her tongue. Next, she launches herself into the air, paws
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reaching out for the object of her desire, only to tumble down the stairs, "bumping her nose and banging her ear and pinching her tail. Poor Kitten." Again and again, the feline's persistent attempts to reach her goal lead to pain, frustration, and exhaustion. Repetitive phrases introduce each sequence of desire, action, and consequence, until the animal's instincts lead her home to a satisfying resolution. Done in a charcoal and cream-colored palette, the understated illustrations feature thick black outlines, pleasing curves, and swiftly changing expressions that are full of nuance. The rhythmic text and delightful artwork ensure storytime success. Kids will surely applaud this cat's irrepressible spirit. Pair this tale with Frank Asch's classic Moongame (S & S, 1987) and Nancy Elizabeth Wallace's The Sun, the Moon and the Stars (Houghton, 2003) for nocturnal celebrations.
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LibraryThing member NataliaLucia
Personal Response: I liked that the island was able to speak. I think young children will find that amusing.
Curricular Connection: A kindgergarten class could make sculptures of the Little Island. Materials could include papier mache, cardboard, old food containers, felt, paint, sequins, buttons,
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LibraryThing member tas026
There was a little island in the ocean. That little island changes as the seasons come and go. The storm and the day and night change it. So do the lobsters and seals and gulls stop by. Then one day a kitten visits the little island and learns a secret .
LibraryThing member sylvatica
This is a sweet, if somewhat strange, little story. A kitten and an island debate their relative sizes? The illustrations are well-done, if very much of their time. Not jaw-dropping or anything, but nicely done paintings with lots of fun little stuff to search for (great for reading with a little
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kid!) The colors are muted and the style is very strongly 1940s-50s – sort of simplified realism. This would also be a book to read with a child before a trip to an island, because of the discussion of the island’s connection to the rest of the land. (pannarrens)
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LibraryThing member dangerlibearian
Sweet-not sure about read aloud potential. A little island is part of the bigger world-good descriptives of the little island. I like the cat who believes secrets.
LibraryThing member LisaBohman
This is a book about life on a little island. Birds, lobsters, seals, and gulls come to the island and make it home. The book goes through each season and describe how the island is affected. The message of the book is powerful: we are all part of the big world no matter how small we are or how
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isolated we may feel. This is an excellent book for children to understand the world and how everything is part of the whole, creating the wonderful world that we live in. The illustrations are bright and depict the story well.
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LibraryThing member derbygirl
(easy)This is a book about a little island in a big body of water. We learn about the seasons that affect the island as well as the every day ins and outs of life there. One day, a family and their cat visit the island. There, the cat learns through conversation with the island and a fish, a great
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secret of life - that we are all part of one big circular pattern. All of us matter regardless of how big or small we are, or what roles we play. We are all worthy of love and respect. Not bad for such a big message from a picture book, but then that is the beauty of Margaret Wise Brown's genius. She does it (almost) every time! The pictures and simple yet complex message tugs on your heartstrings. I find that the majority of the time that I read a Brown book to children they are hypnotized by it and I don't think that this one would be an exception.
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LibraryThing member elpowers
Beautiful book with a "cool"feeling. Nice pictures of the seashore.
LibraryThing member bookwren
I'm forever attracted to island books, so I bought this on Lopez Island. I loved it until the introduction of the kitten, which I thought was too cutesy (I'm not a cat person, so that may have something to do with my feelings). I would have liked it better without the kitten. I did like that the
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kitten learned a lesson from the fish. When the kitten leaves, the story returns to its unique viewpoint of the island itself, which I think is the heart of the story.
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LibraryThing member hcurrey
This is an odd little book that I didn't care for much. It could be put out as a book during a unit on habitats, ecosystems, geography, or the ocean, I suppose.
LibraryThing member isaacfellows
This classic is swift enough for the youngest storytimes, and the paintings make you want to go out and explore your own little world!
LibraryThing member dukefan86
Learning about the little island from the island's perspective is a different approach here. The descriptions of plant and animal life through the seasons (and a storm--my favorite illustration in the book) are simple for young children to understand.
LibraryThing member Phill242
Caldecott winner, 1947
text shows the transition the island goes through as the seasons pass. An inquisitive kitten finds the island and all it has to offer.
LibraryThing member Whisper1
This 1947 Caldecott Medal book is lyrical and charming. The illustrations pull the reader into the story.

The beauty lies in the simple tale of an island and the changes that occur during the seasons.
LibraryThing member bp0128bd
Caldecott winner, 1947
text shows the transition the island goes through as the seasons pass. An inquisitive kitten finds the island and all it has to offer.
LibraryThing member jperro2
At the beginning, I wasn't really interested in this book, but by the end I really enjoyed reading it. The main idea of this book is to show children the seasons and animals that pass over this little island in a little more than a years time. One reason I liked this book was because of the
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descriptive language. Some examples are "one tickly smelling pear tree", "soft wet shadow" and "little waxy white-pink chuckleberry blossoms". The author uses fun and very specific language to help paint a mental image in the child's head. Another reason is how it shows the seasons coming and going, and yet the island remaining the way it has always been. It says "Autumn came and the yellow pears dropped" and "Winter came and the snow fell softly". Just the way the author depicts the changing seasons is really neat to me, and I'm sure children will enjoy it too.
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LibraryThing member ckenne17
The Little Island is a really good story. I really enjoyed the illustrations in this book. I think the illustrations made the story more realistic and enjoyable to read. I also really liked the language. The language was very descriptive. For example, "The little Island had a little woods on it
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with seven big trees in it and seventeen small bushes and one big rock." This sentence is a really good visual for readers. I think the main idea of this story is that even though the island is small, it is still part of a bigger meaning.
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LibraryThing member cvarela
I really don't know how I feel about this book. I actually research it a bit and found out that it was originally published in the 40's. I think it's interesting because it describes everything that happens in the island in reference to seasons, climate, and animals living in it. The illustrations
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are wonderful. It is very attractive and I'm sure little kids would enjoy listening to the story and asking tons of questions about the things that are happening in the book. Kind of difficult to get like a plot and a conflict since the story is mostly descriptive.
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LibraryThing member hatease
There is a little island that changes as the seasons change. The animals change, everything changes. A kitten visits the little island and discovers a secret.

LibraryThing member jbarr5
The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown
Audio version so I am not seeing the colorful pictures.
Setting: the small island where the water comes up and out, the wind, the sun, the animals sounds and birds.
Flowers and sea creatures-spring has come. Now it's summer and other animals come to stay there
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for a few months.
Very descriptive details you can picture them in your mind. Like how the kitten understands the big secret of how the island is one part of the earth.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).
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LibraryThing member TessaB28
Very realistic illustrations to accompany the descriptive words in the story. It is a wonderful book that tells about the nature of the little island and all the happens around it. It is very cute once a kitten lands on the island and talks to the little island about how something so little could
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be important. I love this metaphor for how all is not always as it seems and no matter how little you are, you can do big things! I think teachers and parents would love this book as it tells details of nature, but is still letting children use their imagination and find a love of reading.
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Caldecott Medal (Medal Winner — 1947)


Original publication date



0590410962 / 9780590410960

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