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?
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