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Baby Island



by Carol Ryrie Brink

Published: 1937

As I may have mentioned, I love Carol Ryrie Brink.  Her children’s books are everything a child’s book should be.  A happy story with just the right amount of tension, wonderful read-aloud quality, quirky characters, family values, and happy endings.

In Baby Island, two sisters, ages 12 and 10,  are shipwrecked on a (supposedly) deserted island with three toddlers and a baby.  How the survive, and befriend the island’s “Man Friday,” is an adorable tale.

I’m not sure that two modern-day girls of the same age could accomplish the same thing.  So many children these days seem disinterested in babies, and so many families only have one or two children.  In 1937, babies were, perhaps, far more important.  I love Brink’s foreword:

When I was a small girl, it was the fashion in our circle to borrow the neighbors’ babies.  I myself was never a very accomplished nursemaid, although I had many happy hours pushing the perambulator of a young cousin; but some of my friends had a positive genius for taking care of and amusing babies.  They never thought of receiving pay for this delightful pastime.  Minding a baby was its own reward.

It is more difficult to borrow babies now, I understand.  Whether this is due to a scarcity of babies or to more particular mothers, I am unable to say.  But I am quite sure of this: there are just as many little girls who love babies as there ever were, and it is especially for them that I have written the story of Baby Island.

This is a very, very happy little tale, and definite read for any little girls who love babies.


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