Grey Island, Red Boat by Ian Beck

Grey Island, Red Boat

Written by Ian Beck
Illustrated by Ian Beck

5+ readers   7+ readers   Little Gems   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Interest Age 5-8 Ian Beck has created a new fairy story with all the magical sensibility of a classic. Princess Opal lives on the island of Ashes, where cold grey sea washes up against the granite rocks, and it’s always raining. Everything in the kingdom is grey, weather, landscape, people. Then one day a boat arrives, a bright red boat. The young man on board has a special gift, everything he touches is flooded with colour. The princess recognises this as a blessing and the two young people fall in love, living colourfully ever after. The book blooms as the story unfolds, the illustrations bringing bigger, bolder splashes of colour as the pages turn. This joyful tale will make readers look at the world around them with different eyes. ~ Andrea Reece

About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers.


Grey Island, Red Boat by Ian Beck

A jewel of a book illustrated throughout in silhouette and colour by award-winning Ian Beck (Tom Trueheart). Pictures and words weave together to create a hymn to colour, light and life.

Everything on the Island of Ashes is grey, from the weather to the castle, the grass and the flowers. But then the red boat arrives, and with it a young man who believes he is cursed - everything he touches turns to colour. Princess Opal and the people of the island are enchanted, but the King is suspicious and imprisons Wendell. Opal must find a way to escape to a life filled with love and colour.

High quality cream paper and a special easy to read font ensure a smooth read for all.


“What a lovely story for young children. The illustrations are as magical as the text. They resemble shadow puppets and really add another layer of enjoyment to this wonderful little book.” – Bookbag blog on The First Third Wish

About the Author

Ian Beck

Ian Beck was born in Hove on the Sussex coast in 1947. At the age of thirteen, after seeing an exhibition of drawings for the Radio Times, he was fired with enthusiasm about illustration and began attending Saturday painting classes at the nearby Brighton College of Art.

Ian has worked in many fields of illustration. He's been involved in the record industry, and painted the cover of one of the most popular records of all time: Elton John's 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road'. One of Ian's titles, Lost in Snow, was made into an animated film for TV and his books have now sold a million copies worldwide.

Q & A with Ian Beck

1. When did you first start to write stories or draw?

2. In general, where do your ideas come from?

3. What made you write this book?

4. What have you enjoyed most about working on this book?

5. What is your earliest memory?

6. What did you enjoy most at school?

7. Of all the places you have lived, where have you felt most at home and why?

8. Is there a particular holiday destination that you have visited that you would love to return to?

9. Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your pets, past or present?

10. What would you say is your greatest talent?

11. What new skill – it can be anything at all – would you love to learn?

12. What is the most unusual job you have done?

13. What is your most treasured possession?

14. Is there a particular book, author, or film that had a great impact on you in your childhood?

15. What are your hobbies?

Listening to film music and going to the cinema as often as possible.

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Book Info


96 pages


Ian Beck
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Barrington Stoke Ltd

Publication date

15th February 2016




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