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ON SAND ISLAND by Jacqueline Briggs Martin


by Jacqueline Briggs Martin & illustrated by David A. Johnson

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-23151-X
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

The author of Snowflake Bentley (1998) and the illustrator of Amy Cohn’s Abraham Lincoln (2002) team up for an atmospheric picture of fishing village life on an island in Lake Superior several generations ago. Setting out to build a boat from salvaged boards, ten-year-old Carl trades labor with his adult neighbors for needed skills, nails, paint, and other supplies, then rows off on an idyllic, long-anticipated outing. Martin’s measured prose—“Carl dreamed about boats. / He drew the boat he would build: / a little flat-bottomed pound boat / like the fishermen use . . . ”—gives the episode a grave, formal feeling, and Johnson’s delicately lined, low-contrast paintings respectfully depict a community in which “island neighbors are closer than cousins,” always willing to give each other a hand. Thoughtful readers will appreciate this low-key tribute to a child’s determination, and to the mutual respect that binds a community together. (Picture book. 7-9)