Published in Reading Time November 2011
One Small Island is more than just a stunning picture book. Tulloch and Lester have successfully combined an inspirational story with a non-fiction work of history and geology.
This book gently tells the story of Macquarie Island, from before it was discovered in 1810, through the destructive effects humans had on the plants and wildlife until programs were recently launched to save it.
The story begins with a double-spread bird’s-eye view (albatross, actually) of the island in the ocean. The text of the story continues with a sentence or two on each single page, while the illustrations alternate between documentation and breathtaking double-spread landscapes. 9-12 year olds will glean a wealth of facts from the maps, newspaper articles, timeline, glossary,
climate statistics, diary extracts and more, which have been presented as journal entries in various styles to suit each era. The final landscape is Macquarie Island’s sunrise, anticipating a brighter future.
This book is a must for every school library, with potential to even be the basis for a unit of work. 6-8 year olds will enjoy it as a picture book, as it draws us into the sad story of the island, and the message of hope that ‘if we can save one small island,
perhaps we can save them all.’