Nice words , pictures and a lovely book, by Elisabeth Antonia
I have a special book called “The Little Island.” It is a quiet story that takes place throughout the seasons on a small island in an undisclosed location. You see the pears blossom on a “tickly smelling pear tree” and eventually drop to the ground. The tides rise and fall. The seals and the birds come to have their babies and find shelter. There is even a little cat visitor who talks to the island, curious to know it’s secrets. I would read this story every night for a few weeks leading up to a trip to see my mother on Whidbey Island. Sometimes we would just look at the pages, other times I would read the text to them, often Elodie would help me sound out the words and tell me her favorite parts.
When we arrived on the island, it felt very much like the book’s little island in the spring. Flowers were blooming everywhere. We would look for eagles nests (and a found a few!) and visited our favorite beaches during low and high tide to watch the sea change. The ferns, moss, and smell of the ocean are tattooed in my consciousness and I love the whole feel of this place no matter if it rains or shines. I am grateful that it also belongs to my children, and with hope, their children too.
Also, I visited a thrift shop on the island and found this exact book in the used book section. I can’t help but think that my island was giving me a smile and a wink.
“There was a little Island in the ocean,
Around it the winds blew,
And the birds flew,
And the tides rose and fell on the shore…
The morning was very quiet
on the Island
with only the spiders sailing their webs
against a gentle wind…
Boats sailed to the little Island
from far away
And herring and mackerel
leaped out of the water
all silver in the moonlight.
The seaweed squeaked at low tide
And little green pears grew on the pear tree…
Autumn came and the yellow pears dropped slowly
to the ground.
and the snow fell softly
like a great quiet secret in the night
cold and still.”
– Excerpt from The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown and Leonard Weisgard