My Island

My Island
Stephanie Demasse-Pottier and Seng Soun Ratanavanh
Princeton Architectural Press

“To dream and to invent allows you to discover yourself,” So said Stephanie Demasse-Pottier, the author of this book that she wrote as a tribute to the inventiveness of her two young daughters. Hurrah for her flagging up the link between the imagination and the power to be inventive – in whatever field.
The little girl narrator of the story conjures up an imaginary island world filled with flying fish, birds, constantly blooming flowers, and animals aplenty.

In this place she has tea parties for the animals, she reads, makes coffee, interacts with snails, arranges flowers – all in her own little house.

We too can share in the riches of this place, so long as we know ‘how to sing’, ‘how to share’

and ‘how to dream’.


What adult wouldn’t want their child/ren to gain access to such a place – this extraordinary and wonderful world created by the imagination of the intense, creative little girl. A place where they too can wander, or pause awhile, letting their imaginations soar, further fuelled by the vivid scenes conjured by Seng Soun Ratanavanh in her watercolours, coloured pencils, and red thread stitched illustrations (which serve both to link together what the narrator imagines and to leave gaps for readers’ imaginations to enter).

Not only is this a tribute to two little girls, it’s a tribute to the power of the imagination itself.
Remove all technology and let youngsters take that leap and linger long. Who knows what might happen …

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