Four Children’s Picture Books From Islandport Press

The Little Fisherman, by Margaret Wise Brown, is a classic story of two very different fishermen, who both head out to sea. The big fisherman has all big things – a boat, anchor, sail and all that goes along with fishing. The little fishermen has all the same things, only they are all little. They both fill their boats and they both return home to their families after selling their catches. The story is a great example of how two people accomplish the same goals from different perspectives. 

The flow and choice of words make The Little Fisherman an entertaining story for the littlest of listeners. It also provides a great way to teach children the difference in sizes, and the illustrations by Dahlov Ipcar pair perfectly with the story. Children can visually see what is big and what is little, which encourages early recognition of size comparison.  The consistency and simplicity of colors chosen for the illustrations create a visually appealing flow. The Little Fisherman is another wonderful Margaret Wise Brown title to add to a child’s book collection.

Chowder Rules! By Anna Crowley Redding is a silly take on a true story which dates back to 1939 in Maine. When Maine Lawmaker Cleveland Sleeper hears that people from New York have been adding tomatoes to their classic clam chowder, he decides to take action. After proposing a bill to make adding tomatoes a crime, a restaurant owner from Philadelphia challenged Cleveland to a cook-off instead to settle the matter. The contest had the attention of people around the two states who were eager to learn which dish would win. Luckily for Cleveland, the classic New England Clam Chowder won the competition and the matter was resolved.

This story is entertaining for children and offers all readers some insight into a rather bizarre historical event. Included is a backstory of the actual events, and explains why Cleveland decided to stand up to the classic New England Chowder, as well as a recipe so that you can try it for yourself. Written in a way that children can easily follow, the story provides young readers a little bit of a Maine history lesson. 

The Finest Christmas Tree by John and Ann Hasset is a wonderful addition to any holiday book collection. For many years, Farmer Tuttle grows and sells the best Christmas trees. Each year with his earnings, he purchases Mrs. Tuttle a new Christmas hat. When people start opting for plastic trees and business becomes grim, Farmer Tuttle becomes discouraged and considers selling his trees to a sawmill. Just as he is about to give up, a little bit of Christmas magic happens and his hope is restored. In addition to being a heartwarming holiday story, the illustrations that accompany it are detailed and beautiful. The colors and designs used throughout really give it that classic, cozy “christmassy feel”. The Finest Christmas Tree is one we will read around the holidays for years to come.

Hector Fox and the Giant Quest is the first book of a series of children’s books by Astrid Sheckels. In this book, Hector Fox begins by reading a story to his friends. This sparks an interest in finding out if a local fairy tale about a giant is real, so they decide to set out on an adventure. After a few hiccups and some feelings of discouragement along the way, the friends come across the giant. Their fears of him fade quickly as he welcomes them to his home with open arms, and eventually helps them return safely to their home. 

The friends express a variety of emotions throughout the story, showing readers how people can feel differently in the same situation. At the same time during some of the events one friend feels scared, another feels brave, and another excited. It is a great opportunity to teach children about understanding and respecting the feelings of others. The story also helps to show that things may not always be as they seem, as the giant they had once feared turned out to be a new friend. With incredibly detailed illustrations that pair perfectly with the theme of the story, Hector Fox and the Giant Quest is a delightful read. 

To see all of Islandport Presses’ books please click here.

Children's Picture Book Reviewer

Melanie is the Children's Book reviewer at The Miramichi Reader. She is a mother to two young children Adeline (5 years) and Harlow (3 years). She has a Bachelor of Health Science from Dalhousie University and previously worked as a Radiological Technologist before deciding to pursue a career in health insurance administration. She enjoys sewing, crafting, and going on adventures with her family. Having lived in all three maritime provinces, Melanie now raises her daughters with her husband in Moncton, NB.