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The Little Island

Written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls

Illustrated by Robert Starling

Early Years Farm Animals

LoveReading View on The Little Island

There’s a moral to this lively tale for everyone who lives on a small island. The setting is a farm run by animals. At first, all is good: the animals work hard and are friends, free ‘to live and work where they chose’.  But trouble is brewing. The geese, who reside with the ducks on a lush little island, start to resent the other animals. Their grumbling gets worse until they decide that the best thing for them to do is to leave the rest of the farm and live on their own. Despite the misgivings of the ducks, the geese destroy the footbridge to the farm. 48% of readers may not be surprised to learn that things don’t work out as the geese expect, but all readers will be glad that by the end of the book the bridge has been rebuilt. Animal farms traditionally have lessons for readers – Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell and Helen Oxenbury for example – and this one is delivered with impact and charm. A book to get everyone talking, but to leave them smiling.

Andrea Reece

More About This Book

A message from Smriti Prasadam-Halls -  “I think it’s incredibly important that we talk to little people about big things and so my primary purpose when writing this book was to open up a complex, tricky topic and make it accessible to small children. I want it to be a conversation starter about the serious issues that affect our time. We often avoid talking to children about these things – but these are the issues that are shaping our world and that will shape our children’s future. It’s so important that we make it possible for them to engage. It is my intention in this book to offer a wider perspective and a new kind of language, confronting these issues head on with a story of solidarity and fraternity which shows how much we rely on and gain from
each other.”

The Little Island Synopsis

There was once a farm where all the animals were friends. Together they looked after the farm and each other. It wasn't perfect and they didn't always agree (animals almost never do). But they liked it. One day the geese begin to gossip. Before long they hatch a plan to leave the farm. Will life be perfect now? A powerful modern-day fable for our times told with humour and warmth, and most importantly, hope. A story of building bridges not barriers, respect not resentment and of finding friendship, not fear.

The Little Island Press Reviews

I love it. This is a great way to try to explain our current political situation to little kids. It is clearly from one particular viewpoint but the overall message is hope and the power of togetherness which is a lesson that many adults could do with hearing. - Dom Joly

Animal Farm for our times...This book, with its hopeful ending, is a little island of sanity in the rising tide of insanity around us. I hope it will have many readers and start many conversations in British families... hopefully before all the bridges are torn down completely. - Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo

An elegantly written fable with serious soul about division. - Sally Phillips

Book Information

ISBN: 9781783449095
Publication date: 3rd October 2019
Author: Smriti Prasadam-Halls
Illustrator: Robert Starling
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 32 pages
Year Groups: Early Years
Topics: Farm Animals, Racism / Multi-Culturalism

About Smriti Prasadam-Halls

Smriti Prasadam-Halls is the international bestselling author of I Love You Night and Day and Don't Call Me Sweet both published by Bloomsbury. Before becoming a full time writer in 2012, she worked in children's publishing and television. She lives in London with her husband and three children, reading, writing and eating avocado pears. Read the author's Q&A here.  

More About Smriti Prasadam-Halls

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