Poignant and chilling, this allegory is an astonishing, powerful, and timely story about refugees, xenophobia, racism, multiculturalism, social politics, and human rights. When the people of an island find a man sitting on their shore, they immediately reject him because he is different. Fearful to the point of delusional paranoia, the islanders lock him in a goat pen, refuse him work, and feed him scraps they would normally feed a pig. As their fears progress into hatred, they force him into the sea. The charcoal illustrations complement the sparse and beautifully understated narrative.
When the people of the Island discover a man and a tattered raft on their beach, they are reluctant to take him in. He doesn't look like them. But they cannot send him back to the sea where he will surely perish. Instead, they put him aside but even that doesn't solve their problem. The Island is an astonishing and powerful picture book about refugees, xenophobia, multiculturalism, social politics and human rights. It tackles big themes in subtle ways with a fable-like text and stunning artwork that will provoke discussion for upper primary and secondary school levels about issues that remain so much a part of our national discourse.
Picture book illustrator Armin Greder
was born in Switzerland and migrated to Brisbane, Australia in 1971. Armin has worked as a graphic designer and currently lectures tertiary art students, illustrating picture books in between teaching and other interests. As a child Armin spent a lot of time drawing in the back of his exercise books when he should have been paying attention in class. In books such as The Great Bear and An Ordinary Day his art reflects his European background. Charcoal often features in his work.