On Sand Island
Publication Date: August 2003
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In the deep blue waters of Lake Superior lies a small island of hummingbirds, rabbits, and hardy Norwegian fishing folk. On that island lives a boy named Carl who wants nothing more than to be out on the water in a boat of his own making. So this is a story of sawing, nailing, and sanding. But because Sand Island neighbors are closer than cousins, this is also a story of picking strawberries, moving rocks, and mending fishing nets fine as lace.
David A. Johnson is the talented illustrator of several children's books. His illustrations have also appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and the Atlantic Monthly. He lives in snowy eastern Connecticut with illustrator Barbara McClintock.
A subtle, beautifully crafted story about hard work, simple joys, and the small, warm communities of the historic upperMidwest.” Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
Lyrical tale, told in the rhythms of lapping water.” Publishers Weekly, Starred
"There is pleasure, a sense of wonder, and appreciation for small details in nature and community in this celebration of a boy's first success. The writing has a smooth, easy-rhythm and flow of oars dipping and lifting through the water, and with each immersion a fine thought surfaces." School Library Journal
Thoughtful readers will appreciate this lowkey tribute to a child’s determination, and to the mutual respect that binds a community together.” Kirkus Reviews
"Johnson's watercolors rely on pale, mottled tones punctuated with fine yet crisp black lines; this technique results in an interestingly translucent, Japanese aura in the scenes of nature." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books