Surprise Island by Barbara Willard

Willard’s novel was a childhood favorite of either my mother or my father; I cannot recall exactly who now. But within its yellowed pages is a story about Jill and Lambert (known as Limpet), whom in anticipation of winning a South Sea island in a dog food contest, trespass on their neighbor’s estate along with their friend, Brandy the Saint Bernard, to try out island living.

Since the book has been on my shelf for years, it qualified for the TBR Challenge and hence why I finally pulled it off the shelf. I wish I had read it when I was young, though, because I feel I would have enjoyed it more as a child than I did now.

It was fun to read about Jill and Limpet’s adventures, especially considering they included a big, lovable Saint Bernard on their adventures. The black and white illustrations by Jane Paton are also a great addition to the tale. (The book cover to the right is a picture of my copy, and the illustration on the front cover is echoed throughout the book.)

However, I feel like I would have liked it more as a kid, because some of the magic was gone. Going on a trip with my best friend to experience island life sounds like something I would have loved to do as a child but isn’t were I am in life right now.

(Note: Willard’s book is out of print as far as I can tell. I’ve only been able to find used copies available on Amazon.)

Book Mentioned:

  • Willard, Barbara. Surprise Island. New York, NY: Meredith Press, 1969. Originally published 1966. Print. 110 pgs. ISBN: XXXXXXXXXXXXX. Source: Gift.
Book Cover photographed by me. Taken: January 11, 2011.

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