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Island: A Story of the Galápagos
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Island: A Story of the Galápagos

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  746 ratings  ·  148 reviews
Charles Darwin first visited the Galápagos Islands almost 200 years ago, only to discover a land filled with plants and animals that could not be found anywhere else on earth. How did they come to inhabit the island? How long will they remain?

Thoroughly researched and filled with intricate and beautiful paintings, this extraordinary book by Award-winning author and artist
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Roaring Brook Press
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2013 Mock Caldecott
27th out of 97 books — 235 voters
Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnellBalloons Over Broadway by Melissa SweetA Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts AstonRedwoods by Jason ChinAn Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston
Best non-fiction picture books
9th out of 258 books — 79 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,403)
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Lisa Vegan
One of my huge lost chances was a high school biology class trip to the Galápagos Islands. I so wish I’d gone. I had wrongly assumed that there were many travel opportunities in my future. Ever since high school when I learned about this place, I’ve been interested in the area, even though I haven’t read that much about it, and since I’ve greatly enjoyed two other books by this author-illustrator, I was very excited to read this book.

I loved how the inside front cover has illustrations and names
Jason Chin does it again!

Tells the story of an island in the Galapagos, from its birth, childhood (when more species of plants and animals make their home there), through adulthood and to old age.

Love the varied perspectives of the paintings -- aerial overviews of the island, sequential closeups of the animals and plants and how they evolved.

Ends with the arrival of the Beagle.

Great authors note at the end, explaining what part is true and what part is speculation -- science "brought to life thr
Let's see.... How many picture books are there that discuss huge scientific concepts like natural selection and evolution, plate tectonics and island formation, species migration and colonization, and environmental change in an interesting way that little kids can understand all in the covers of one book? As far as I know, one. Island : A Story of the Galapagos is a fantastic book that covers all of these topics in a way that perfectly marries science and wonder. My nephew, who is five, let alon ...more
Follow the birth of a group of islands to the present day in this book that beautifully documents the wonders of the Galapagos. Opening with the drama of a volcanic eruption six million years ago, the book shows how plants and animals arrive at a new island in the ocean. As time goes by, the island turns from barren rock to a place of lush green. Specific attention is paid to the evolution of creatures and plants that are found only on these islands. Young readers will fully understand why finch ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Redwoods was my introduction to the wonderful Jason Chin a couple of years back, but it was a bit too fiction-y for the other Cybils panelists back then. Times have changed, though, and we readers are more open to a whisk here and there of fiction elements in our nonfiction. And (at least I think) it makes for a better world.

So then Island. Let's look at Island. Chin, panel by panel, takes us through the birth, growth, and eventually disappearance of an island in the Galápagos. We see the island
Filled with luminous, detailed illustrations and engaging, accessible text, this marvelous book tells the story of the Galapagos Islands near Ecuador. Starting with the formation of an island six million years ago and moving through various stages of its lifespan, until it sinks beneath the sea to become a seamount, the book describes volcanic eruptions, rainfall, and species that made it their home. It also identifies many species found only on the Galapagos Islands and explains how species tha ...more
Christine Turner
Charles Darwin first visited the Galápagos Islands almost 200 years ago, only to discover a land filled with plants and animals that could not be found anywhere else on earth. How did they come to inhabit the island? How long will they remain? Thoroughly researched and filled with intricate and beautiful paintings, this extraordinary book by Award-winning author and artist Jason Chin is an epic saga of the life of an island; born of fire, rising to greatness, its decline, and finally thenbsp;eme ...more
Aug 16, 2013 Dolly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We've read several books by Jason Chin and we love the gorgeous illustrations and creative way of teaching without being boring or overwhelming the reader with details. I really love learning about the Galápagos Islands and would love to visit them one day. This book offers a great introduction to the islands and the science of evolution.

The narrative is entertaining and as usual, the illustrations are terrific. We really enjoyed reading this book together.
Kris Patrick
A picture book about evolution without using the word evolution. #bookaday
This book is about the life and death of one of the Galapagos' islands. It talks about how the island is first formed by a volcano gradually getting bigger and bigger. After a seed washes to the volcano and starts to grow, animals start coming to inhabit the island. Each chapter talks about what happens to the terrain of the island after giving a specific timeline to how long ago this occurred (5 million years ago, 1 million years ago, present). I like how the book makes connections to not only ...more
Sharon Lawler
Outstanding presentation of the rise, and fall, of one island in the Galapagos. Art and information blend to provide the theory of how all this wildlife came to inhabit this collection of islands. The back includes information about Charles Darwin and the Galapagos, the endemic species of this ecosystem, but aside from a list of people who assisted the author, it lacks a bibliography.
Well-done book explaining island formation and species evolution to children. Since reading a biography of Charles Darwin, I've been intrigued with the Galapagos. So I liked the information given, even if some was speculative based on fact. Lovely pictures. Well-explained. This will be a good choice when Common Core is in place.
Complex scientific processes such as plate tectonics and evolution are explained in an accessible and engaging way as Chin describes the birth and growth of the Galapagos Islands. Beautifully illustrated with additional historical and scientific information in the back.
This explores how the Galápagos Islands were most likely formed as well as how the animals evolved over time. It is told as a narrative which really engaged my children. They asked lots of questions and wanted to share what they know about volcanos and plate tectonics from school. They found the frigate birds that steal fish out of other bird's mouths fascinating. The book includes end notes about Darwin, the Galápagos Islands, endemic species of the Galapagos and an author's note about the deta ...more
Allison Barry
I paired this book with Galapagos: A Novel (Delta Fiction) by Kurt Vonnegut. Both books reference the Galapagos Islands. In Island: A Story of the Galapagos, the author, Jason Chin, takes the author through a story of how the Island was born. He references the animals and plant life that once roamed the Island before the ocean reshaped the Island into what is now the Galapagos Islands. In Galapagos: A Novel (Delta Fiction), Kurt Vonnegut takes the reader back in time to A.D. 1986. In A.D. 1986, ...more
Chin does an excellent presentation of evolution of the geology and flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands, with superb art as well. I loved it so much, I'm going to buy it for the grandson of some friends of mine.
Amazing. I feel like I watched a Nature show and read a graphic novel and read a textbook (but not a dull textbook). Narrative nonfiction by a master, for the win!

Lots of great back matter, too.
ALA Notable Children's Books, 2013
Jim Erekson
The graphic design in this book was remarkable, and the palette drew me right in--amazing work on the cover! But the strength in this book is the back-and-forth between full page or full double-page pictures and the many small cameo cutout pictures Chin used on the other pages. This gave the book a graphic novel feel, but also felt like a documentary or a museum presentation. Each of the five chapters handles a major development in the geological history of the islands (in chunks of millions of ...more
Chin explains the Galapagos Islands by charting how one of islands forms and eventually disappears over the course of six million years.

Great kid NF. This is a clear, easy to follow, well laid-out book. I love the mix of full page and panel illustrations. They're detailed without being stodgy. Same goes for the text. My science background is weaker than I'd like; I know more now, which is aces.

Easily used in classrooms for explaining natural selection / how islands, animals, and plants transfor
Chin is able to explain the complex history and science of the Galapagos Island from birth to death in addition to the difficult concept of evolution and trait selection using children-friendly vocabulary and descriptions. The illustrations aid readers through these difficult concepts and allow them to visualize the science described through the series of illustrations presented in a manner similar to a comic book.

Because of this presentation, this piece of non-fiction becomes almost story-like
This book has lovely artwork, often laid out in a three- or two-panel design. The multiple little drawings interspersed with larger drawings helped keep the attention of a four year old. The adult reading this story, however, found the narrative fairly boring. The story moves through the history of one of the Galapagos Islands from its birth six million years ago to the time it sank back beneath the sea approximately one million years ago. It just gets repetitive. I suppose that's alright for ki ...more
One day, about six million years ago a volcano erupts in the middle of the ocean. As it continues to erupt and cool an island grows up out of the water. Nothing lives on this island, until one day a seed arrives on the waves. A tree grows and with time birds, iguanas and other animals come to the island; life flourishes and grows and changes, and for millions of years everything is well. Island: A Story of the Galapagos is a beautifully illustrated account of the birth, life and death of one isl ...more
4.1 stars

The illustrations are wonderful, and the book graphically illustrates how volcanic islands are formed, how plants take hold on new islands, and how islands are eventually populated with animals.

The book details the creation of the remote Galapagos Islands which are 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador.
I enjoyed this biography of island. Jason Chin does a great job with narrative nonfiction. The illustrations throughout the book- including the endpapers- are beautiful. I loved all the additional fascinating information about natural selection and adaptive radiation at the end of the book!
Lu Benke
When I think "evolution" I immediately think of eons of time. So as this book unfolds, I am saying to myself, "This must really be about evolution." Then come the successive frames of animals evolving trying to capture that sense of eons for me. It does--a little bit. But, the sense of time passing is the biggest and most difficult concept of the book and I needed more to transport me through those millions of years. Bottom line, I thought the illustrations were beautiful and the information com ...more
Jason Chin has created a beautiful celebration of a place that has enchanted me since I was a child. In words that children of all ages will be able to understand and enjoy, he explains the Galapagos, evolution, and more. Well worth the read. Even the end papers are beautifully rendered to enhance the overall experience when reading.
Jason Chin simply and elegantly explains the formation and forces of evolution on the Galapagos Islands. This book is perfect for students in grades 4 - 6 learning beginning principals of land formations, plate tectonics, natural selection, and evolution. The story as a whole is interesting and packed with information while illustrations and brief explanations lend themselves to close reading (hello Common Core!). Recommended for upper elementary through middle school reading.

Nonfiction text fe
Really interesting book! A story about the formation and existence of the Galapagos islands and how Charles Darwin came up his his famous theories of natural selection. A good foundational book that will spark you interest in such an unbelievable subject!
Melissa Mcavoy
This graphic novel-style book follows the life of an island in the Galapagos over five million years. Chin brilliantly shows how species adapt and evolve resulting in an island filled with plants and animals found nowhere else on earth.
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