Nara and the Island
Written and Illustrated by: Dan Ungureanu
Published by: Andersen Press, UK & USA 2016
Ages: 4 – 9 years
Theme: exploration, bravery, making new friends
Opening Lines: My home is so small, you can’t lose anything. At least, that’s what my dad says. But sometimes I felt like getting lost…
Synopsis: from Amazon… Nara lives with her father on a tiny island and dreams of visiting the island across the waves. So when she gets the opportunity to visit the mysterious island, an amazing adventure unfolds.
Why I like this: The illustrations for one are beautiful in soft pencil colouring giving a whimsy feel of classics of old. The heads seem a little bigger with a cute pixey look. Romanian-British illustrator Ungureanu introduces Nara a redheaded girl who finds life a bit quiet on the island where she lives with her father. The island is scarcely larger than the home they share, ‘so small, you can’t lose anything,’ her father says. Nara imagines traveling to a nearby island covered with dense foliage. Nara meets a boy who’s similar to her in some ways and her opposite in others, and he longs for the simplicity and quiet of her island. This would make a great mentor text due to the sparse text (one or two lines per page.) A sweet simple story of wishing for what you don’t have and connecting while also seeing what you have through someone else’s eyes.
Resources: his website…. http://www.danungureanu.com/about.html
This is a NZ activity to help children focus on what we have in common rather than focus on our differences. (note: tamariki means children)… https://sparklers.org.nz/activities/common-ground/
I think we all want something “over there” and often don’t appreciate what our own tiny island offers until we see it through someone else’s eyes. I have spent time on some tiny islands (camping) and find them wonderfully cozy.
Hi Sue, Yes when I was very young we used to go camping and I loved the simple pleasures no tv having fun with the other kids. When my hubby and I went overseas we realized how lucky we were living where we are.
The cover art looks intriguing! I grew up on a (big) island, and I really miss it being 4x landlocked now!
Where we live in our city we only have to drive 15 minutes to the east and we are at our Harbour and port and if we drive 20 – 30 minutes to the west we are at some of the best surf beaches on the west coast. Our city is a little narrow in parts. Being on an island does have its advantages Julie.
Almost missed your review! I love that cover! The story sounds intriguing. Makes me think that of the saying “the grass is always greener…” But, I do love islands. Lovely share! Miss you, friend!
Hi Patricia I have missed you too dear friend. Yes I know the saying. Although we live on an island it sometimes doesn’t feel that way. I love where we live. After visiting some of the countries we have visited it certainly makes us appreciate what we have.