: Abel's island (9780312371432) : William Steig : Books
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Abel's Island

by William Steig
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publishing date: 02/10/2007
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780312371432
  • ISBN: 0312371438


One summer day, newlywed mice Abel and Amanda are out for a picnic in the woods when they are caught in a sudden storm--a "full-fledged, screaming hurricane" to be precise. As they take refuge in a cave, a wind scoops up Amanda's scarf, and Abel foolishly lunges from safety to retrieve it. So begins William Steig's Newbery Honor Book Abel's Island, the ensuing adventures of this rather foppish mouse as he comes head to head with nature. Amazingly, Abel is swept up in a stream, then a river, then eventually marooned on an island (about 12,000 tails long). He is sure that his rescue is imminent: "It's certainly gotten around that Abelard Hassam di Chirico Flint, of the Mossville Flints, is missing," the society mouse speculates. But he is not so lucky. What will this intelligent, imaginative rodent do to get off the island and back to his beloved Amanda? He busies himself with finding ways to get to shore (including bridges, boats, catapults, stepping stones, and gliders); figuring out what he should eat (everything from mulberries to roasted seeds); and investigating where he should take shelter (in a rotten log). As the weeks and months go by, he misses his books, his paintings, his comfortable stuffed chair, his stylish clothes (now damp, torn, and lumpy), but above all his precious wife Amanda, whom he thinks about constantly. As the mouse faces his new life Robinson Crusoe-style, Abel discovers what it's like to be in tune with the natural world as well as his true nature, and what it's like to return, fortified, to his real home and to the arms of the one he loves. Along the way, readers can't help but rediscover the joys of being alive. (Ages 8 and older, but an engaging read-aloud for younger children, too) --Karin Snelson

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  • exactly as promised
    From Amazon

    The book arrived quickly and in good shape. I'd use the buyer again in a heartbeat.

  • Interesting in a tedious way.
    From Amazon

    I enjoyed this one more than my son did. I think he missed the point that Abel was and had changed quite a bit. The reference is subtle and I just don't think he got it. I think he thought it was a bit tedious. I enjoyed it quite a bit and felt that it could have gone into more detail of the changes Able was going through. Unfortunately the book was to advanced for my son and not advanced enough for me. It also reminded me of that movie with Tom Hanks where he is trapped on an island. I found that movie boring and tedious too. Might be better for a little older audience than my 8 year old, therefore I would recommend it for ages 10-12 years.

  • whimsical
    From Amazon

    Ah, Mr. Steig has done it once again. Like A.A. Milne, Steig makes the mind pleasantly drunk with fictional animal characters. Their most endearing trait is an ability to achieve innocent ecstasy in response to just being alive in nature. Even though they are blessed with a sense of wonder and a perception of links between the magic and the mundane, the characters, amazingly, ring true. They also nudge us gently toward our better selves.

  • A truly wonderful book
    From Amazon

    As a child, the first "book" I remember reading was Steig's "Dominic." When I re-found and re-read the book years later, I realized just how beautiful the story was and decided to buy more of his works. I picked Abel's Island randomly, knowing nothing about the story. It is perhaps even more beautiful than "Dominic" was. Good enough to make this reader cry a bit (in joy) at the end. The story is about Abel, a distinguished mouse, who gets swept away in a flood and marooned on an island while trying to fetch a scarf that flew off his beloved wife's neck. After a few failed attempts to escape the island, Abel is forced to rely on himself to survive until he can figure out how to get back to his family. He keeps his wife's scarf around his neck to give him strength. This is a story that will be equally enjoyed by a young child and the parent reading it to him or her; and the themes of love, beauty and strength of character are lessons that can be appreciated by someone of any age.

  • The story teaches so many things. Super!
    From Amazon

    Reviewed by Jamie Driggers Abel didn't know that when he and his wife Amanda went out for a picnic, he wouldn't be home for a year. Who could have guessed that they would get caught in a storm and that when he went to retrieve her scarf, he would be swept away and trapped on an island? In this wonderful illustrated middle reader book we see the evolution of Abel, an educated mouse of high society, as he comes of age in his adulthood. I loved that he came back to his mouse-like roots, using his teeth and his gathering instinct. He discovered himself. He found that he was far more than the society mouse, well taken care of by his mother's money. He was talented at sculpture, he could fend for himself, and though he despaired, he never gave up hope that he would get off the island. This is an awesome vocabulary-xtending book for children. It would make a great read aloud or a stretcher for a young self reader. The illustrations leave a bit to be desired as they are dark and busy. Busy is good when there is a lot of color, but the black and white seemed almost blurry. However, they were appropriate to the text and children will still enjoy their presence. All in all, I would say that this book is a good one to add to your library. It has great themes and vocabulary, and though it starts slow it also propels the reader through. And the finishing line--perfect. Armchair Interviews says: Another great addition to your middle reader's library.

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