island

Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin

Follow the birth of a group of islands to the present day in this book that beautifully documents the wonders of the Galapagos.  Opening with the drama of a volcanic eruption six million years ago, the book shows how plants and animals arrive at a new island in the ocean.  As time goes by, the island turns from barren rock to a place of lush green.  Specific attention is paid to the evolution of creatures and plants that are found only on these islands.  Young readers will fully understand why finch beaks grew larger, seagulls got larger eyes, and tortoise shells changed shape.  The book ends with Darwin arriving on the shores of one of the islands.  This book is a celebration of these islands and the wonders of nature.

Chin’s book offers information that is solid and fascinating packaged with illustrations that capture the details of what is being explained.  It makes for a book that is bright and energized and that is clearly nonfiction as well.  The story of the birth and life of an island makes for a magnificent tale that readers are sure to respond to.

In his art, Chin brings the reader up close to what is happening on the island.  We get to look between the mangrove roots at sharks, watch pelicans feast on fish in the lagoons, and see land iguanas float on logs to reach the island.  Even better, as I mentioned earlier, the process of evolution is detailed so that readers can see the gradual but necessary changes that occurred.

This is one incredible nonfiction book that teachers, parents and students will enjoy looking through and learning from.  Appropriate for ages 6-8.

Reviewed from library copy.