Thursday, April 13, 2023

Today's read... Welcome to the Island by Dela Costa

Today's read is the first in a chapter book series, which came out last year. The second one is already on the market as well, and the third is coming out the end of next month with the four, five and six hitting the shelves also before the end of the year. So, in other words, anyone who enjoys this series has a lot to look forward to.

I just loved the island vibes and the promise of tropical adventure. A small part of me still dreams of having an entire island to explore with waterfalls, caves, beaches, hidden relics...adventure pure but without venomous or dangerous creatures, please (we have enough of those where I live and I could do without). 

If this book packs tons of fun? Well, let's find out!

Isla of Adventure, #1
by Dela Costa
Illustrated by Ana Sebastian
Little Simon
Chapter Book
126 pages
ages 6 to 10

Meet the ever-curious Isla Verde, a young girl with a secret—she can speak with animals—in the first book of an all-new chapter book series!

Welcome to the adventurous island of Sol! For eight-year-old Isla Verde, Sol is the perfect place to live. The sun shines bright, the markets brim with delicious food and music, there are animal friends around every corner, and her best gecko buddy, Fitz, is up for almost every adventure!

Yes, Isla’s best friend is a gecko. In fact, that’s part of her big secret…she can speak to animals—and they speak right back! No one else knows about her special talent, not even Mama, Abuelo, or Abuela! But when new girl Tora moves in next door, Isla starts finding it harder to keep her secret under wraps.

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Isla of Adventure chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.



Life on an island is anything but boring, and teamed up with this heroine, adventure is never far away.

Isla loves spending time outdoors and never is bored on the island. When a new girl moves in next door, who looks anything but adventurous, Isla is a little unsure but decides to give this new friendship possibility a go. But the girl from the city is overly cautious and careful, and if she discovers Isla's biggest secret, she might never speak to Isla again.

Readers, who have a pretty good handle on their words, will easily sink into this read. The font is on the large side, and the vocabulary fits nicely. There is a little information about animals peppered in, but not too much. Lively illustrations on every page make the tale come to life and keep more reluctant readers from being scared away.

This is a fun mix of daily life and animal fantasy with life lessons tossed in. Isla's lives in a normal town on a usual street in an everyday's just that it is on an island where the forest, beaches and such are only steps away. This settles readers down in a familiar setting before launching into the excitement on the side. The reader meets Isla's gecko friend right away and is eased into Isla's ability to talk with animals with finesse, which keeps it from slamming and makes it come across in natural style. The flow between reality and fantasy blurs with wonderful smoothness and invites readers in.

While Isla's Doctor Doolittle talents set the stage, this is only one layer to Isla's adventures. The difficulties and uncertainty of forming a new friendship with someone, who is seemingly very different, is addressed as well as the uncertainty when revealing something personal. Of course, there is some animal craziness and very good dose of humor, which makes this a fun, light read with tons of heart. Readers will want to join Isla on her island and head out into adventure with her, too.

And here she is...

Dela Costa loves nature, discovering new things, and spending too much time speaking to animals even though they don’t respond…yet. She lives in New York.

Ana Sebastián is an illustrator living in Spain. She studied fine arts at University of Zaragoza and Université Michel de Montaigne, Bordeaux, specializing in digital illustration and completing her education with a master’s degree in digital illustration for concept art and visual development. Her work focuses on color and light. She mainly works with her iPad Pro at her studio but sometimes you can find her working at coffee shops, in the mountains, or near the sea. Ana also likes to work with color pencils and watercolors. When not drawing, she will probably be reading, practicing yoga, or traveling.


Ms. Yingling said...

Twenty years ago I wouldn't have looked twice at shorter chapter books like this, but my 6th graders are skewing younger and younger. I have an 8th grader who loves the Coco Simon Cupcake Diaries. She's been getting some books from the public library, so I may suggest this series to her.

Tonja Drecker said...

Why do you think that is? (Seriously curious)