The Island

Wasn’t Monday morning a thrill? I tweeted this, which pretty much summed up my morning:

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 9.59.14 PM

And I wrote (and squealed) a little more about it here, where there’s a really beautiful picture thanks to Caryn Schafer’s beautiful blog!

There’s a billion and one things to love about Jon Klassen, and one of them is his mastery of color. Even if you picture the covers to Extra Yarn and This Is Not My Hat, you get an insta-glimpse of what I mean. Color rules. It’s easy to read, easy to feel. And it’s what stands out to me about this book, The Island.


by Marije Tolman and Ronald Tolman

{published 2012, by Lemniscaat USA}

I bought this book based on its cover, before I even turned a single page. Look at it! It’s dreamy and sparkly and enchanting and soft and calm and it just speaks.


And the story is just as dreamy and sparkly and enchanting and all those other things. A polar bear climbs down from a ladder in the clouds. Wordlessly, he pokes from page to page, from thing to thing, from story to story, from island to island.

The landscapes are muted and quiet, and the living characters are saturated and strong. The color palette is transporting and calming and breathtaking.


I adore being able to read a different story every time I carefully thumb through it. I’m not sure if it means something small or something big, and I don’t really care. I just enjoy it and soak it in, and feel my imagination bursting at the seams.


And something else that is delightful and surprising: a father-daughter duo created this one. Something about that feels extra special.



  • Posted January 31, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Another lovely, little-known find!

  • Posted January 31, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Like me! Hardy-har-har.

  • Posted January 31, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Thank you! I don’t know this one. It is lovely and calming. Have to get it…

  • Posted January 31, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I still can’t figure out my favorite thing about it…but that’s what makes it so wonderful!

  • Posted January 31, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    You have a knack for finding beautiful gems. I love the idea of a mother-son collaboration–if only my sons would play along.

  • Posted January 31, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Do it!

  • Posted January 31, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Just put a bunch of books on hold, by both and some that Marije illustrated excited!

  • Posted January 31, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Eeee! I love this book so much. I had the wonderful experience of going to Bologna a couple years ago, and this book was getting a lot of love. So glad it’s made its way to the States. (The illustrations are pretty interesting–I think they’ve used a variety of printmaking techniques, if memory serves? Plus some digital collage?)

  • Posted February 4, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Love this duo. Anita Silvey just posted about another of theirs on her blog today: Thought you’d appreciate it. :)

  • Posted February 4, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    That’s so awesome! Love that one too.

  • Posted February 6, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Carter, I have honestly never fallin in love with a blog as fast as I’ve gone head over heels for yours. I LOVE children’s book too and hope to write one some day soon…I’m so glad you found my blog so I could find yours!! I’ll be a regular. :)

  • Posted February 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Becky! Best comment ever. I’ll be a regular in your neck of the woods, too. That peanut is darn adorable.

  • Posted February 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    This is a beauty. Thanks for putting it on my radar, Carter!

  • Posted February 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    way way WAY cool. I want to see this polar bear. I LOVE this polar bear. I will be finding this polar bear :)

  • Posted February 8, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Go get him!