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AN ISLAND GROWS by Lola M. Schaefer


by Lola M. Schaefer & illustrated by Cathie Felstead

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: July 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-623930-3
Publisher: Greenwillow

A volcano forms under the ocean, erupts to form land, erodes and acquires flora, fauna and eventually human population. This highly simplified explanation of island formation attempts to distill complicated geologic processes into rhyming couplets for the youngest reader, often using no more than two words on a page. Colorful cut-paper collages illustrate the text and seem to set the story in the Caribbean, although the suggested follow-up reading is about Iceland, Hawaii and the Galápagos. Inevitably, the simplification leads to distortions and omissions. The pictures, for example, show lava pillows mounding up from the ocean surface and suddenly becoming sharp rocks. Perhaps for the sake of the rhyme, trees grow before the flowers, and birds arrive even later, although, in fact, as explained in the afterword, the birds help bring the seeds for the new island’s vegetation. Introduce this science topic to readers capable of taking in greater detail. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-7)