Kid Lit Review of “Isle of You” by David LaRochelle

This book for very young children is sort of a kinder, gentler analogue to Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

The little girl who is the protagonist has gone to bed, but can’t sleep:

“Was today a hard day?
Are you feeling sad?
Lonely?
Maybe a little angry?”

This author proposes that the little girl take a trip through her imagination to “The Isle of You.” In this place, all of her dreams can come true. There’s a welcoming committee to help her accomplish whatever she wants to do:

She can dress up and have her favorite desserts. She can even go for a balloon ride!

At the end of a long day, she is feeling better:

“It’s time to say your goodbyes. But don’t worry – you can come back whenever you’d like. And the next time you’re feeling sad, remember:
Isle of You.”

Jaime Kim uses gouache and acrylics to create the dreamlike landscapes in the Isle of You.

Evaluation: I thought the story rather insipid – personally, I’d rather go to where the wild things are. . . . However, children may find comfort in the message. But are escapism and sugary desserts the best way to handle negative emotions? Certainly this book may fill the need of calming a child, but I would have liked to see, in addition, encouragement to express feelings constructively and to look for solutions to a problem. Parental guidance can supplement the text with ideas for ways to handle frustration, anger, or sadness.

Published by Candlewick Press, 2018

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2 Responses to Kid Lit Review of “Isle of You” by David LaRochelle

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    At least the illustrations are beautiful.

  2. stacybuckeye says:

    It looks pretty 🙂 But even before I got to your thoughts I knew that it wouldn’t beat Where the Wild Things Are.

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