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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Tomi Ungerer
Age Range: 6-8
Brother and Sister Finn and Cara live with their parents in a remote location “by the sea in the back of beyond”. The family is poor; their father goes out fishing every day while their mother attends to the farm. The children’s father makes them a small boat, known as a curragh, but warns them never to leave the bay and to steer clear of Fog Island because it is surrounded by treacherous currents, known by the locals as a doomed and evil place.
One day, while the siblings are out in their boat the weather changes; they become enveloped in a storm and are swept out to sea by the strong waves. As darkness falls they find themselves drifting ashore. The children realise this must be the mysterious Fog Island.
As they climb out of their boat they are surrounded by surreal, mist-shrouded images. There are tall anthropomorphic rocks either side of a winding staircase with green skeletal arms clinging to the door at the top of the stairs where a wizened old man with floor-length white hair and a candle strapped to his forehead is waiting. “I am the Fog Man,” he announces. During the course of the evening the children learn the secret of how fog is made before returning safely home the next day.
Ungerer’s pen and ink watercolour illustrations are a mix of seascapes in greys and greens together with the cartoon-like characters. Fog Island is a blend of mystery and magic inspired by Ungerer’s years living along the Irish coast.
A new digital release has become exclusively available on the iTunes store to allow people to download the digital iBook. https://itunes.apple.com/book/fog-island/id738553436?mt=11&uo=4&at=11lddt