When a sailor can't bear life on ship any more, he jumps overboard and swims to a big barren rock. There he cares for a half-drowned cockerel and plants rice, hiding away when a boat arrives. The sailors are amazed to see rice growing and keep coming back, leaving plants and game-birds, until the island bursts with tropical fruit and wildlife. But soon the Queen of Portugal hears about it and demands to meet the person responsible.
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(230mm x 270mm x 9mm)
Frances Lincoln Childrens Books
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
In this sweet (if inconsistent and much-altered) version of a possibly historical incident, a 16th-century Portuguese sailor jumps ship to take up solitary residence on St. Helena - an island described with some justice as "further away from anywhere than anywhere else in the world." Thanks to gifts of seeds, trees and animals left by passing mariners over the years, the island is slowly transformed in Daly's stylized, delicately detailed illustrations from a barren rock to a verdant paradise. Summoned by the intrigued Queen of Portugal, the hermit reluctantly journeys to her court, declares himself to be a monster (in old accounts he was physically mutilated, but there's no mention of that until the author's afterword) and hurries back - followed by a court seamstress who ignores his growls, gardening silently and contentedly alongside him until at last his unhappy soul is likewise transformed. More about inner growth than survival, this brief Robinsonade is still likely to beguile younger audiences. (Picture book. 6-8) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Dianne Hofmeyr
Dianne Hofmeyr grew up on the tip of Southern Africa. She graduated as an art teacher in Cape Town and has written several teenage novels and picture books. she has won the M-Net Award for fiction and has two IBBY Honour Books. To visit Dianne's website click here Jude Daly was born in London and emigrated to South Africa as a young child. She went to art college in Cape Town, and now lives there with her husband, the writer and illustrator Niki Daly, and their two sons.