Islandborn is a book about self identity through culture. In her classroom children come from all over. The teacher assigns the students to talk about where they come from. Except Lola does not remember her Island.
To get an idea of where she comes from she asks everyone around her. They tell her all about the wonderful aspects of where they are from. Lola then begins to wonder why they ever left if their island is so perfect. Yet, one older gentleman in her community tells her about "The Monster." The specifics of what this is is not gone into. I feel that this is appropriate for the audience, but also helps this book to be more relatable to all children who immigrated from another country.
I love that Lola learns that she never has to visit a place for it to still be apart of her. I also love that she learns that places can be amazing even if they have a monster side. I also love that the author wrote this in a way to connect to all children who move countries. However, it is also a perfect read for children (and adults) who still live in their country of origin to help them to understand this connection.
The pictures were also bright and beautiful. They went well with the writing to make a great story.
Ocean Meets Sky is a beautiful picture book. While the story may not be the focus, I actually remember none of the dialog, the pictures are amazing. For this reason alone I rated it what it is. The words do complement the pictures, and do provide a plot. It is just that the beauty of the book is really in the illustrations. I loved the play of colors and the imagination in each picture.
When Tyler's blocks are knocked over he is not sure how he feels or how to express his feeling. Animals come in and tell Tyler what he should do, and when he does not respond they walk away. Except for the bunny that sits with him until Tyler is ready to talk. Then Tyler does all the things the animals had suggested to express his emotions. Up until the last part it was a cute book. Except not all the ways of expressing emotions were the best idea. Then the book, and Tyler, pull themselves together again and Tyler decides to try again.
The pictures are cute, the boy and animals with no or minimal background. The topic is relevant to the age group.
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