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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)
To the Island
by Patricia Forde
Age Range: 6-8
When Fia looks out of the window she hopes to see the mysterious island called Hy Brasil. It only appears once in every seven years and Fia longs to go there. With the moon high in the sky, Fia creeps from her warm bed and goes down to the quay. She feels the magic in the air; when a silver moonbeam reaches across the water and leads her to the island she discovers a world full of wonder and embarks on a magical adventure. Fia rides on the back of a gilded butterfly, dances to the bed of the sea and up into the clear night sky where she can look down and see the world below.
This enchanting picture book from award-winning Irish author Patricia Forde, who has twice won the White Raven Award, is based on the mythical island of Hy Brasil off the west coast of Galway, Ireland. It is said it appears every seven years and is recorded on old maps from the fourteenth century up to the 1800s.
Forde has imbued her tale with a magical and fairy tale quality. The lyrical text conjures up vivid imagery which is captured perfectly by Italian illustrator Nicola Bernardelli in her dream-like artwork in rich colours and tones.
Although not a translation, the story has also been written by the author in Irish An tOiléan Thiar. A song written about the book is also available online.