Book Review: Giant Island by Jane Yolen

In this wondrous book by award-winning fantasy author Jane Yolen and award-winning fantasy illustrator Doug Keith, two children and a dog explore the coves and caves of a tiny island. Under the watchful eye of Grandpa, the kids are thrilled to discover a huge surprise: the craggy rocks, tufted grass, and wind-swept trees on Giant Island are much more than they seem. Jane Yolen’s text entrances readers with hints of age-old magic, and pays tribute to mystery, curiosity, and friendship. Doug Keith’s paintings invite readers to discover the giant secret for themselves. Visit Giant Island, where fantastical adventures await.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from Edelweiss. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Two children go to Giant Island with their grandpa and don’t understand why such a small island is called Giant Island…until they explore while Grandpa is fishing. They have a great time playing and exploring, and they have a big secret when it’s time to go home!

Giant Island is an amazing book that children will want to read again and again. The story is a great fantasy, and the illustrations (paintings) are wondrous. They help to tell the story especially at the end. Such a fun read!

About the Author

I was born on February 11, 1939 in New York City at Beth Israel Hospital, the first child of my parents, Isabel Berlin Yolen and Will Hyatt Yolen. Because my grandmother Mina Hyatt Yolen’s family, the Hyatts, only had girls, a number of us were given their last name as a middle name to carry it on. So I am Jane Hyatt Yolen, and my brother, Steven Hyatt Yolen, was born three and a half years later. Alas, we are no relation to the Hyatt Hotels, no matter how often I have tried to convince the staffs there.

I love being a writer. In 2018, I celebrated #Yolen365 in which my 365thbook (yes, that is a Yolen book for every day of the year) was published. Actually, 365 and 366 published on the same day. Since then, that number has grown to 378.

The first man I married, in 1962, David W. Stemple, is the only man I married. He and I have three children and six grandchildren. Alas, he died of cancer in March, 2006 after 44 years of a wonderful marriage. I live in Western Massachusetts right next door to my marvelous daughter Heidi (the little girl in OWL MOON). My sons live far away with their families, Adam in Minneapolis, Jason in Charleston, SC.  I also have a house in Scotland where I live about four months of the year. The rest of my life is all book talk.

For more about Jane Yolen and her books, go to her website.

About the Illustrator

Doug Keith attended the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art in New Jersey and graduated in 1974. He worked his way through ad agencies in the New York area for five years until an opportunity to relocate with an industrial design firm brought him to Seattle in 1979. A desire to start his own studio became a reality in 1982, and business has been growing ever since. Keith’s ability to work in a variety of styles and mediums has attracted clients such as Sports Illustrated, the Seattle Times, the Seattle Mariners, the Goodwill Games, local TV stations, restaurants and advertising agencies. Along the way, Keith has won an Emmy award for television graphics (KIRO-TV), a Society of Newspaper Design award (the Seattle Times), and national recognition for his innovative and amusing alphabet designs. Keith has found his love of sports (and sense of humor) invaluable in making the conventional alphabet more than just a group of letters. In his sports alphabets, players, referees, cheerleaders and fans bend and contort every which way to form all the letters. In each letter is a story which is commonly known to every sports fan, which explains why Keith’s work is just as at home in a boardroom as it is in a playroom.

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