This is the story of the birth of an island, from the first red-hot glow of magma at the bottom of the ocean, to the flowing lava that hardens and builds up higher and higher until, finally, it breaks through the water′s surface.
And then, life comes to the island. First come the small plants and animals, and later, people. This is a tale as old-and as new-as the ground we walk on.
A volcano forms under the ocean, erupts to form land, erodes and acquires flora, fauna and eventually human population. This highly simplified explanation of island formation attempts to distill complicated geologic processes into rhyming couplets for the youngest reader, often using no more than two words on a page. Colorful cut-paper collages illustrate the text and seem to set the story in the Caribbean, although the suggested follow-up reading is about Iceland, Hawaii and the Galapagos. Inevitably, the simplification leads to distortions and omissions. The pictures, for example, show lava pillows mounding up from the ocean surface and suddenly becoming sharp rocks. Perhaps for the sake of the rhyme, trees grow before the flowers, and birds arrive even later, although, in fact, as explained in the afterword, the birds help bring the seeds for the new island's vegetation. Introduce this science topic to readers capable of taking in greater detail. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-7) (Kirkus Reviews)