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Fog Island

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  440 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Top 10 Children’s Book 2013 – New York Times Book Review

A Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of 2013

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2013

"Tomi Ungerer has created another masterpiece." – Eric Carle

In this imaginative tale from master storyteller Tomi Ungerer, two young siblings find themselves cast away on mysterious Fog Island. No one has ever retu
...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Phaidon Press (first published April 16th 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Donalyn
Aug 31, 2013 Donalyn rated it liked it
Weird and not in a good way. Unbelievable that the children weren't the least bit afraid of Fog Island after their father's warning. What was the point of it?
S.E.
Jul 27, 2013 S.E. rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommended
Is it ever too early to give your young'n the willies? (Quit nodding your heads, "..and then the bow breaks.." come on give me a break!) This author/illustrator is held in high reguard and once you flip through this atmospheric storybook you'll know why. Brother and sister Finn and Cara live in the world of magical Ireland. They live a simple life off the sea. The children are warned about the doomed island which of course makes them want to explore. Duh! skeletons, spooky old men and mysteries ...more
Cheryl
Nov 02, 2016 Cheryl rated it it was ok
Left me cold... just found it insipid, with a trope of finding the backstage magic that's been done to death.
Mathew
A love song of sorts to Ireland, set at a time not too long in the past where poverty was a commonality and people's reliance on the land was central to their lives. Here we follow the lives of Finn and Cara and their parents who lived by the Irish sea. Happy with their lot and all equally happy to assist with the running of their farm, all changes when the children are gifted a rowboat (a curragh) and find themselves adrift and dangerously trapped on the one place the local people avoid: Fog Is ...more
Tasha
Jun 03, 2013 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Always expect to be surprised by a picture book by Ungerer. The Three Robbers is one of our favorites in our house and we’ve also loved the short film of the book and quote lines and sing the song from it years later. This new book from Ungerer has some of the feel of that earlier title, with fog and darkness and danger. It is the story of Finn and Cara who lived by the sea. Their father built them a small boat, a curragh, and warned them to only use it in the bay and never go near Fog Island be ...more
KayeC Jones
May 02, 2016 KayeC Jones rated it it was amazing
Another winner by Ungerer.

He did this book with pastels and it looks fantastic! You can almost feel the fog as you read it. Very well done. I love the extremely hairy "wizened old man" with the candle on his head. Very cute.

And as for the story, Ungerer fails to disappoint. I love that it introduces the poor family but states that they were happy together. The boy and girl set off exploring and get lost eventually finding Fog Island, a place with an evil reputation.

I don't want to spoil the stor
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Holly
I liked the mood/tone of this strange story about two children who venture out to Fog Island in spite of their father's warning. There they meet the wizard-like Fog Man. The illustrations capture the loneliness and spookiness of the journey to the island. It creates a legend/ghost story type feeling. I also liked the mystery of whether or not it was real when the kids wake up in the midst of ruins instead of the Fog Man's castle. However, the ending was bizarre and kind of gross.
Justin Bloch
Nov 09, 2016 Justin Bloch rated it it was amazing
My five year old daughter absolutely adored this book. She loves books that are a little spooky, and the art and mystery in this one really sparked her imagination.
Mark
Sep 22, 2013 Mark rated it liked it
From The New York Times review, by Leonard S. Marcus.

In "Fog Island" the old high jinks have largely given way to an urge to dive into mythic waters and tell a fateful tale inspired by Ungerer’s years living along the Irish coast. For once, the storm in question is a real storm, and a young brother and sister are caught in it in their fogbound boat at sea. The next thing they know, the brave but powerless children are washed ashore on an island they have been warned not to visit: Fog Island.

Whe
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Becky B
Two children are given a small boat by their father, but warned never to take it to Fog Island, a place no one has ever returned from. The children don't disobey their father on purpose, but when a storm comes up and they land on Fog Island they decide to explore a little. They meet a strange man who claims to be the one who makes the fog in the area, but when they wake up there is little trace of what they thought they saw the previous night. The children return home to great relief of the enti ...more
Fromwordstoworlds
May 03, 2016 Fromwordstoworlds rated it it was amazing
Siblings Finn and Cara live with their parents by the sea in the back of beyond. Their living conditions are precarious but they are grateful to what they have. Their father is a fisherman and also a boat builder so one day he builds a small curragh as a surprise for his children. The children are asked to enjoy their boat but to avoid Fog Island as it is doomed. As expected, the children explore the sea but they are carried by the currents to Fog Island. The illustrations are captivating. In th ...more
Richard
Sep 28, 2013 Richard rated it it was amazing
Tomi Ungerer, an icon in the annals of modern children's book illustration, does it again! With Fog Island, we are treated to an Irish legend freely adapts an ancient tale from the Ireland wherein he once dwelt, and offers his familiar Ungererian twists. The very heavily bearded Fog Man proves to be incredibly kind-hearted, as well as a fantastic harp-player; from the moment I saw the Maestro's unique drawings, I was challenged!

Young Finn and his little sister Cara have been warned by their fat
...more
Todd Strader
Oct 17, 2013 Todd Strader rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
"And there in the distance, miles offshore, Fog Island loomed like a jagged black tooth." Is it a mystery? Is it a lesson on evaporation? Perhaps a ghost story? A tale of survival? Or, just maybe, it is all of these. Go on an adventure with Finn and Cara to Fog Island... I think what I enjoyed most about this read was the feel of it. No not the mood it created but the literal feel of it. The copy I held was made of thick page stock that had me rubbing my fingers over the pages as I turned them. ...more
Rodney
Sep 09, 2016 Rodney rated it it was amazing
One of the strangest and most haunting things I've read. Recommended.
Kaethe
None of us liked it. I picked it up because the cover image is so striking, and I'd just been saying I'd like to live on a cool, damp, northen island. But I didn't like the illustrations, I wasn't at all sure whether this was supposed to be set in the present or some former, folksyier time, and some elements really bothered us. Seeing a guy holding a rabbit by it's ears? Bad boy! Rabbits are pets to us, not food so much. The fog creation with the sciency explanation? No, no, no, no, no. And the ...more
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services
Grade Level: K-3

Length: 144 pgs

Summary: Finn and Cara who live on a farm in Ireland venture out in the sea. When the fog moves in their real adventure begins. They meet the Fog Man, but will they make it back home from this "evil" island?

Recommendations or Comments: I enjoyed the simple but detailed illustrations. A short book, that has an ending which is almost identical to the opening of my favorite book. Gray is the main color on every page. Whether the situation is happy or intense, the col
...more
Pam P
Nov 12, 2013 Pam P rated it liked it
I really don't know what to think of this book. One of the reviews stated that it is an Irish legend but I could not find anything in the book or on the author's page that indicates it is any type of legend or folklore. That would actually make me like this book more because it is fairly creepy and could be scary to children. One of the illustrations shows Finn drinking out of what looks like a wine goblet - this might be an Irish cup but it struck me as strange. I did like the children waking u ...more
Kristina Jean Lareau
Jan 08, 2014 Kristina Jean Lareau rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
This tale of two Irish children wandering to Fog Island is one of the better Ungerer books. You can really see the progression of his talent as an artist and storyteller in this newest book of his.

While he still sneaks in his typical wine goblet here and the phallic noses of the anthropomorphic rock faces, the quality of the art in pastels and watercolor really emphasize the ominousness of the story.

This feels distinctly like a fairy tale, and I really wondered if the Fog Man was going to push t
...more
Melainebooks
Apr 09, 2013 Melainebooks rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: album
Sur une île lointaine irlandaise, Finnet Cara se retrouvent pris au piège de la brume sur leur "curragh" (petite barque) et arrivent sur l'île aux brumes. Cette île est maudite. Pourtant, ils sont acceuillis par le Maître des Brumes qui leur explique que c'est lui qui fabrique la brume en versant de l'eau de mer sur du magma. Ils passent une bonne soirée avec lui et repartent le lendemain matin. Ils retrouvent leurs parents non sans essuyer une tempête.

Malheureusement, à leur retour sur la terr
...more
Betsy
Nov 25, 2013 Betsy rated it really liked it
Spooky and understated--I may have to revisit this one and examine it some more. Maybe it will be bumped up to a 5. There are lots of little details in the illustrations (a few in particular) that flesh out the text nicely. The pacing is just right to build suitable creepiness (I actually wanted to make--and sometimes did--ominous music noises before turning the pages; a great lesson in foreshadowing!).
Cathy
Jan 28, 2016 Cathy rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Recommended by a patron, this picture book by Ungerer is mystical and slightly haunting. The two main characters, children of a small village in Ireland, accidentally wash ashore onto Fog Island, a place feared and avoided by the locals. Is the mysterious inhabitant that they find on the island real or just someone of their dreams? A fun read with illustrations that perfectly capture the somber mood of a gloomy seaside village.
Mary
This is a lovely Irish fable about a place called Fog Island and two children who happen upon it accidentally. The children meet a new friend (one whom we are not sure truly exists), and cause their parents great panic by not returning as expected. They do return safe and sound, and we are left wondering about the fog man. The pictures are gorgeous and the tale has a distinctly Irish feel about it. Better for longer attention spans.
Becky
Feb 11, 2014 Becky rated it really liked it
Tomi Ungerer's illustrations are the most hauntingly beautiful I have seen in a long time. Siblings Cara and Finn get swept off course in an eerie fog and end up stranded overnight on Fog Island. Warned that no one ever returns from that mysterious island, they overcome their fear and meet the reclusive and lonely Fog Man, who cares for them, shows them how he makes the fog, and helps them return home safely the next day.
Aubry
Sep 04, 2014 Aubry rated it it was ok
Shelves: libs-642
Ungerer, Tomi (2013). Fog Island. Phaidon Press.

A Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of 2013

Picture Book Soak

Not one of my favorite books. Along with the Publishers Weekly Award it won the New York Times Best Illustrated Award in 2013. I have to disagree. Maybe I missed something but the art work was boring to me and the story was strange in general. I guess I will have to reread it to try and see what all the hype is about.
The Brothers
Jan 16, 2016 The Brothers rated it really liked it
Some children are out in their little boat their father made for them when the fog rolls in and they get lost. The finally make land on an island known as Fog Island. There they meet a strange man who manufactures the fog. He offers them food and shelter for the night, and when they wake up in the morning, he (and his magnificent castle) are gone! Was it just a dream?...

Okay illustrations.
Eija
Jan 31, 2014 Eija rated it really liked it
A little bit dark and suspenseful, with the feel of a ghost story-- but one you can share with younger readers.

Has the feel of a traditional oral story, and the Fog Man felt like he could have been a Miyazaki character. Fun sight gags in the pictures, beautiful pictures as always.

I love Tomi Ungerer.
Anne Broyles
Mar 13, 2014 Anne Broyles rated it liked it
I love this book's setting (Ireland's western coast) and how life is depicted for a poor farming and fishing family. I like how the paintings are rich in color and texture. I couldn't seem to get past the characters' faces, which were rugged and almost caricature Irish, but there is a magical adventure that two siblings take in their boat to Fog Island that will intrigue young readers.
Michelle
Nov 12, 2013 Michelle rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
I picked this up because it is on the "Best of 2013" Publisher's Weekly list. I do not quite understand how it made the list. I was intrigued by the mood of the story, and it felt a little bit Irish-inspired. But the pictures were honestly a bit creepy, and the story was just weird (and I'm usually pretty okay with a strange story). Hmmm. Maybe I'm wrong?
paula
I am going to buy me another house one of these days, one with giant windows and big plain walls and maybe a view of water, and I am going to blow up these spectacularly composed ink and watercolor and maybe a little gouache paintings and wallpaper that house with it.

It will look lush but austere, warmly gray, precise, and a little funny.
Mumbler
Dec 05, 2013 Mumbler rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I dislike the style he gives the faces; the people aren't my favorite part of the art. But the rest is gorgeous! The water and the rocks. Especially the page where they're saved from their little boat into the bigger rowboat.
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Jean-Thomas "Tomi" Ungerer is a French illustrator best known for his erotic and political illustrations as well as children's books.
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