Island of the Aunts
by Eva Ibbotson (Author) and Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator)
From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6-It isn't easy taking care of an entire island and its needy, sometimes magical inhabitants and visitors, so the caregivers, Aunts Myrtle, Etta, and Coral, decide to kidnap three children from London to help them with such tasks as cleaning mermaids who were caught in an oil slick and coaxing an egg-bound boobrie to lay its enormous eggs. Two of the children, Fabio and Minette, turn out to be enthusiastic workers who grow to love the island and their charges, but Lambert Sprott is a cell-phone-addicted brat. In fact, it is Lambert's nefarious father who, in rescuing his son, makes a near-successful attempt to exploit the isle's magical creatures for his own gain. The tone of this book is as no-nonsense as stern but kind Aunt Etta. No mercy is shown to self-obsessed, environment-polluting grown-ups and nasty, ill-behaved children, but sanctimony is held at bay by the dry humor that permeates the story. The plunder of the sanctuary by Mr. Sprott and his crew is filled with scenes of real menace and suspense-readers will not be able to put the book down until they know for sure that all the island's inhabitants are safe and sound. The 14 black-and-white illustrations add quiet charm and humor. A fine choice for fantasy lovers, especially fans of E. Nesbit, Edward Eager, and Jane Langton.
Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
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