“From out to in, from here to there – books can take you anywhere”
Edwards, CO –Calling all explorers! What if you could go anywhere in the world? Through the power of imagination, and the art of the written word, each of us can pick up a book and set sail to a magical destination. Fostering curiosity and literary appreciation is at the heart of Nicole Magistro’s whimsical picture book “Read Island” (Read Island LLC, October 5, 2021).
Join a very brave girl and her animal friends as they traverse the seas in search of an island made of books. Propelled by their sense of wonder, the group makes exciting discoveries, meets unique new animal friends, and learns the most important secret of Read Island – “This world of stories, safe and true, is always here to welcome you.”
Equal parts a celebration of reading and a valuable lesson in environmental stewardship, this tale is the perfect addition to a little explorer’s growing bookshelf.
Nicole Magistro | October 5, 2021 | Read Island, LLC | Juvenile Fiction
Hardcover | ISBN: 9781736523308 | Price: $18.99
About the creators…
Nicole Magistro is a professional reader and amateur mother who lives in the mountains of Colorado. She owned a bookstore for 15 years, wrote thousands of book reviews and memorized a few too many bedtime stories. Her favorite place in the world is the real Read Island, which inspired this story.
Alice Feagan grew up in a small town but has traveled the world many times over through the pages of her favorite books. This love of stories (and a mild obsession with art) inspired a career in illustration. Today, she is a children’s book creator known for her distinct cut-paper collage style. When she is not writing or illustrating picture books Alice can be found hiking, creating, or reading with her two young sons. The Collectors was her authorial debut, and Read Island is the third book she has illustrated.
In an interview, Nicole Magistro can discuss:
- What inspired her to write this book, including the story of the real Read Island, one of the Discovery Islands in British Columbia, Canada
- What it’s like on “the other side of the counter” as a former bookstore owner turned author
- How Alice Feagan’s collage illustrations can become a seek-and-find game for readers
- What message she hopes to impart to young readers
Praise for the book…
“A beautifully illustrated children’s poem about the joys of reading”
“Who wouldn’t want to live on Read Island? Not every kiddo gets a chance to travel in real life, but they really go places with this charming picture book!”
–Anne Holman, co-owner, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT
“A beautiful celebration of the adventure that is a story. A must-have addition to any picture book library”
–Megan Waterman, owner, The Book Nook, Canby, OR
“An instant classic”
–Wendy Hudson, owner, Nantucket Book Partners, Nantucket, MA
“This beautifully illustrated picture book expresses what all book lovers hold dear – books can take you anywhere. Magistro’s lyrical rhymes pair perfectly with Feagan’s timeless illustrations”
–Sarah Hopkins, bookseller, The Bookworm of Edwards, Edwards, CO
“Unite book-loving animals, high-seas adventure, and gorgeous, innovative illustrations and you arrive at Read Island… a beautiful vessel for parents and children to understand, discuss, and celebrate the magic of reading”
–Heather Mateus Sappenfield, author, The River Between Hearts
“A captivating and beautifully illustrated read-along that has all the makings of an instant classic… the perfect example of a picture book that will invite repeat visits long after readers have ‘aged out’ of the text.”
–IndieReader (5-star review)
“I want to go to Read Island! What a magical, lilting, sweet story”
–Nicole Sullivan, owner, Book Bar, Denver, CO
An Interview with Nicole Magistro
1. What inspired you to write this sweet story about an island made of books?
The real Read Island is our family’s favorite place to visit every summer. During the pandemic we couldn’t travel to Canada, except in our imaginations. Through meditation, my 9-year-old son and I “visited” as often as we could, and during one of these mental journeys, the symbolism of the place name became the story. It was a lightbulb moment – books can take you anywhere!
2. As a former bookstore owner, what is it like to be “on the other side of the counter” now that you’re an author?
Certainly I feel that indie booksellers are my tribe, and bookstores feel like home to me, but presenting a debut book to these professional readers is still nerve wracking! Booksellers have to make tough decisions in order to curate the perfect mix for their stores, and so I am eternally grateful every time a buyer takes a chance on my book. It means the world to me. And I get goosebumps every time I see Read Island on display “in the wild!”
3. Alice Feagan’s illustrations use a collage technique. Can you tell us more about the materials she used?
Alice is supremely talented with traditional and modern techniques. In the early versions, she hand drew each character and each scene to visually propel the story along. Then she selected a palette and textures to begin the digital work. And finally, she built layers using the text and images from classic children’s stories, fables, songs, and maps. This brought to life all of the thematic elements of the book. Alice uses textures from the natural world (and the literary one!) for colors, shadows and sources of light. Every step in her process was a surprise to me, and I continue to find little gifts on every page. You will, too!
4. While this book celebrates reading and promotes literacy, it also highlights the beauty of the natural world. Do you have an environmental message for kids as well?
A personal goal of mine is to have a strong mind-body connection with the Earth. I possessed this wholeness as a child, yet I somehow managed to un-learn or separate myself from nature along the way. I’ve learned that the binary of inside and outside doesn’t really have to exist! This story represents how our mindful, human adventures can exist in harmony with the wonders of wild places. But of course, it’s a message for kids so, simply, I want to help the littlest readers maintain that connection to nature and our physical world.
5. Are you available for events with bookstores, libraries, or schools?
Absolutely! Alice and Nicole love connecting with readers, talking about books and getting new recommendations for things to read ourselves! Check the website for upcoming events near you, or reach out to us about hosting an event at your bookstore, school, library or community center!
A former award-winning journalist with national exposure, Marissa now oversees the day-to-day operation of the Books Forward author branding and book marketing firm, along with our indie publishing support sister company Books Fluent.
Born and bred in Louisiana, currently living in New Orleans, she has lived and developed a strong base for our company and authors in Chicago and Nashville. Her journalism work has appeared in USA Today, National Geographic and other major publications. She is now interviewed by media on best practices for book marketing.