Title: Isle of You
Author: David LaRochelle
Illustrator: Jaime Kim
Published: December 2018
Character Origin: Animals and Human
Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 32
Synopsis: Some days are harder to get through than others, but when you’re sad, or lonely, or angry, it helps to remember these words: the Isle of You. Take a moment to shake off your worries, then set sail to a land where your dreams can come true. Soar on the back of an eagle, hunt for treasure, watch dancing polar bears on roller skates — anything you can imagine is yours. Hopeful and dreamlike, Jaime Kim’s paintings illuminate a way for young readers to visualize a brighter, happier mood in this compassionate story by David LaRochelle.
This is a story about using your imagination to create a place that you can leave all your anger, worry, and sadness in a bucket before you sail away to a magic land of your own making.
I enjoyed reading this story as it encourages kids to use their imaginations. Our brains are a great problem-solving tool which we don’t use often enough. People tend to react first and think later. Generally, that outcome is never a favorable one. When we apply critical thinking (imagination) we can run through scenarios and decide the best course of action before we respond irresponsibly or use our imagination as a calming apparatus. Isle of You does a great job demonstrating this point and reminds the reader that they are loved.
Kim’s illustrations were quite beautiful. The way that the opening pages are dark to reflect the emotions of the child really set the tone. However, when the child releases the distractors, the pages filled with such breathtaking colors and characters. As a mom, I really liked that LaRochelle’s story occurred right before bed when tensions and emotions can be most high. It gives kids a way to process their feels and enables them to fall asleep with a clear mind, free from emotional baggage.