The Faraway Island by Dianne Hofmeyr


The Faraway Island by Dianne Hofmeyr

When a sailor can't bear life on ship any more, he jumps overboard and swims to a big barren rock. There he cares for a half-drowned cockerel and plants rice, hiding away when a boat arrives. The sailors are amazed to see rice growing and keep coming back, leaving plants and game-birds, until the island bursts with tropical fruit and wildlife. But soon the Queen of Portugal hears about it and demands to meet the person responsible.


This engaging story about what it means to be happy, perfectly complemented by Daly's intricate illustrations, will appeal to children of five and above. Daily Telegraph The story is told simply and elegantly and there is effective use of dialogue to show the thoughts and feelings of the different characters. Books for Keeps Essentially a tale of the melting and mending of a heart. Our hardened sailor has given up on himself and needs to learn to trust others and see value in himself. By the end of the book our faith is duly restored in humanity and our ability to heal. Perseverance, forgiveness and belief are common themes in traditional and folk tales and that is not where the similarities with this book end. The text has a lyrical quality and would make a good oral story... please enjoy the book for its gentle illustrations that beautifully capture a different time. What makes this story book special is the illustrations. Excecuted in bright blues, greens and golds, Jude Daly's delicate watercolour palates are a joy to behold. Bejewelled with dainty human figures, ornate interiors and animals and plants of every kind, they sparkle with vitality, and the innovative page layouts further enhance the reading experience. INIS Visually this is a lovely book, and the tale of the developing garden is one that can lead to discussion, and maybe even some gardening by young readers and their teachers or parents. School Librarian

About the Author

Dianne Hofmeyr

Dianne Hofmeyr grew up next to the sea, on the southern tip of Africa, and has travelled just about everywhere in Africa since. Her father was a mapmaker - helping her to plot not only the stars and unfamiliar terrain but also the texture and smell of new experiences. Her writing is a result of journeys with notebook and camera through places like Eygpt, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. Her teenage fiction has won the prestigious M-Net Book prize, judged with adult fiction, the Sanlam GOLD for Youth Literature (twice), the Sanlam SILVER award, the YOUNG AFRICA AWARD, an IBBY HONOURS BOOK award and a YOUNG AFRICA award. In South Africa, 'The Waterbearer' has won the M.E.R. award and is currently shortlisted for the Sunday Times Book of the Year.

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 6


Dianne Hofmeyr
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Author's Website


Publication date

17th April 2008



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