Name of Book: Island of the Skog
Author: Steven Kellogg
Illustrator: Steven Kellogg
ISBN: 978-0803738423 (HBK)/978-0140546491 (PBK)
Audience: Ages 4-8
Summary: Jenny and her mouse friends take to the seas in search of a more peaceful place to live. But when they arrive what at first seems the island of their dreams, turns out to be an island is inhabited by the Skog. This funny and exciting story is a perfect introduction to peace for young children.
Literary elements at work in the story: Steven Kellogg’s use of comical illustrations and cute characters helps soften some of the harsher realities of this story. His text gives voice to the need to find a new home.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story: The mice live in a dangerous inner city environment. The skog live alone on an island. Neither is happy with the society in which they live. The mice think taking over someone else’s world is the way to a better place to live. The skog thinks fear will save his world. Neither is right and conflict develops. A good starting place for a discussion on what society is, this book will also show children and how to bring peace instead of conflict.
Scripture: Matthew 5: 9
Theology: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.” What does it mean to be a peacemaker? That is a question that has confounded many. For some peace is going away from harm like the mice. For others peace is saving yourself from those that will destroy your way of living. However, true peacemakers find a way to do what the mice and skog eventually did. Peacemakers learn to talk through a conflict and find a solution good for both sides. Being a peacemaker is not easy. It is only with God’s blessing that we can even hope to have the wisdom and strength to be peacemakers. Next time someone speaks in anger or you speak in anger towards someone else, stop, pray, and think about how to turn your anger and fear into peace. The mice and skog did. You can too.
1. Why did the mice sail off?
2. Did everyone on the ship want to blaze their way and take over the island?
3. How did the skog deal with the intruders?
4. Which character in the book is most like you?
5. What would you have done in Bouncer’s position?
6. Who agreed to build a village and live together?
7. How can we become peacemakers?
8. What are some things that you can do to be a peacemaker?
Review prepared by guest blogger Janet Lloyd.
Island of the Skog by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.