Fiction: Margaret Wise Brown

The Little Island


Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Leonard Weisgard
1946

This is a charming book. It’s simple and yet full of complicated concepts. There isn’t really a plot, per say, but the text is a lazy poem about a quiet little island. It is well written, as most of Brown’s books are, and even though there isn’t much plot the book is enjoyable to read. It makes the reader feel like they are on a quiet, relaxing vacation. The book does touch on some pretty big philosophical ideas, but none of them are pushed very much and the reader is only required to think as much as they want to. Few books manage that.

The pictures are equally wonderful. They share the text’s lazy pace and feel. They have bright, vibrant colours and show an island teeming with life. Each page feels like a painting that might grace the walls of a vacation home on Cape Cod.

This book is wonderfully well put together and it is completely obvious why it won, and deserves, the 1946 Caldecott award. I highly recommend this book (especially for summer) and plan to buy this book myself sometime!