Original title: Kadonneiden eläinten saari
Class/genre: Picture Book
Mathias takes his little sister Jenny to the circus for her birthday. Jenny adores lions; she has dressed up in a lion costume for the occasion and is invited in to the circus ring to pet a lion cub. Suddenly, a monstrous creature bursts through the roof of the circus tent, seizing the lion cub and Jenny!
Mathias and the lion cub’s dad set off on a rescue mission, far across the sea to a mysterious jungle island that is home to weird and wonderful creatures. But can Jenny and the lion cub be there too? And why are the island’s inhabitants so peculiar?
A captivating, vibrant adventure story with illustrations for young readers and fans of The Jungle Book, Tarzan and Where the Wild Things Are.
See trailer for the book here! (in Finnish)
FINLAND (Original publisher), WSOY
CHINA, Hunan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
“The Island of Lost Animals is a wonderful creation both in terms of the texts and the illustrations. It is such an engaging story to find out the terrifying monster becomes a real hero in the end, and to enjoy the rich and vigorous illustrations of many animal characters. Kids in China will love it!”
– Ran Chang, Hunan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
– Ingrid Greaker Myhren, Gyldendal Norsk, on Monster Nanny
”Pitkänen creates charming landscapes. I enjoy the large canvasses where the characters have been drawn small, so that the attention is drawn to the spacious landscape.”
— Yöpöydän kirjat blog
”There’s a lot of movement and action in the book. Its illustrations remind cinematic narration in many ways. Similar action-packed and eventful picture books are often made based on animation films. Moving from spread to spread a lot happens: often the angle, the atmosphere and the setting change dramatically. The story has a perfect narrative arc and there’s no lack of suspense. The giant lemur who kidnaps Jenny and the lion cub is a scary figure with red, glowing eyes. In the end everything turns out well, however.
The book has a strong ecological message: the giant lemur has kidnapped the lion cub and the lion-costumed Jenny, as there are only a handful of Barbary lions left in the world. It wants to protect endangered species – it is the last of its kind. In the end Pete the lion and his cub decide to stay on the island, as they don’t want to perform in the circus. Matias and Jenny return home, but promise: “We won’t let a single species die out!” The ending suggests there are more adventures to come.
The Island of Lost Animals is a wonderful picture book for adventure-hungry nature lovers!”
– IBBY Finland blog
”This was an absolutely beautifully illustrated, fast-paced picture book with an important message.”
– Yöpöydän kirjat blog
”Pitkänen’s illustrations are completely in a class of their own.”
– Suomi lukee website
”The book offers beautiful pictures and an interesting world, and one wishes that many kids and adults will find this to read and marvel at.”
– Pieni kirjasto blog
”The illustrations are simply gorgeous.”
– Mrs. Eriksson’s Room blog