Baby Island

Written by: Carol Ryrie Brink, Helen Sewell

Baby Island Book Cover
When a ferocious storm hits their ship, young Mary and Jean become stranded on a deserted island. They're not the only survivors; with them are four babies. Immediately the sisters set out to make the island a home for themselves and the little ones. A classic tale of courage and dedication from a Newbery Medalist author.
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Baby Island Reviews

Corinne Wilson
I read this in the 1980s — several times. It was one of my absolute favorites!!! I’ve been meaning to re-read though I’m afraid I’ll lose the magic. I mean nine-toed grumpy old man, two girls, a bunch of babies, a shipwreck? That’s some high concept. It’s like babysitter’s club meets Robinson Crusoe!
Melissa
I found this book on my Grandma Routson's shelves on one of our visits. I love this book. It's a girl's dream.
Annarose
One of my absolute favorites.These two girls love adventure and babys.Their just like me.I have read it several times.
The Hidden Persuaders :: Five Little Peppers Abroad :: Bergdorf Blondes :: The Far Pavilions :: A Woman of Substance
Dee-Ann
Ordered this through school book club many years ago. Loved it then. Reread it recently and thought ... how stereotypical it was ofr perceptions of girls at the time. Cute
Sarah
I read a vintage version of this book as a child and LOVED it. The fantasy of being a babysitter on a deserted, tropical island--apparently this is really what gets little girls off...
Meghann
A cheerful little book about young girls who are stranded on a deserted island with four babies. Unbelievable? Yes. But charming? Yes.
Blabby Gabi
Definitely one of my favorite books as a 10 year old:) Babies?? On an ISLAND?!? Of course!!!
Kristin
I read this book when I was in the third grade and I absolutely loved it. My friends and I passed this book around between us and pretty much wore out the copy at our elementary school library. I complete forgot all about this cute little book until I found a first edition at a local antique store for $1. All of my childhood memories came flooding back and I snapped it up and brought it home to share with my eight year old daughter who is also in third grade. No surprise. She loved it!! It is a I read this book when I was in the third grade and I absolutely loved it. My friends and I passed this book around between us and pretty much wore out the copy at our elementary school library. I complete forgot all about this cute little book until I found a first edition at a local antique store for $1. All of my childhood memories came flooding back and I snapped it up and brought it home to share with my eight year old daughter who is also in third grade. No surprise. She loved it!! It is a cute little adventure story about two sisters who find themselves on a deserted island and taking care of four adorable babies. A perfect for little girls.

My Rating: a darling book.

Watch Books
Just read this book again, having read it a few time before when I had a softcover copy a few years back. It's still as good as I remember.

I love books about kids getting in situations that causes them to make a new life and order for themselves, (Baby Island, Mandy, Hatchet, and so on). The characters in this book are bright, funny, unique, and offer a fun reading experience. I love the babies and their different personalities and how motherly Mary is.

Its a book that circumstances sound somewha Just read this book again, having read it a few time before when I had a softcover copy a few years back. It's still as good as I remember.

I love books about kids getting in situations that causes them to make a new life and order for themselves, (Baby Island, Mandy, Hatchet, and so on). The characters in this book are bright, funny, unique, and offer a fun reading experience. I love the babies and their different personalities and how motherly Mary is.

Its a book that circumstances sound somewhat dark, but turns out to be really cute, lighthearted, and fun!

Overall a quick enjoyable read with a well executed plot. - Zoe
Carolyn Page
Two capable tween girls are shipwrecked on an island with as many babies in their lifeboat as the worried parents could stick in with the shipboard "babysitters". I first read this as a child, as my mom had a paperback copy from 30 years ago. I like it, because these girls aren't portrayed as either children, or as angst-ridden teenagers, or as mini-adults, but as "tweens"--they think about school, daydream, and exhibit other childlike behaviors, but are as capable and resourceful as many other Two capable tween girls are shipwrecked on an island with as many babies in their lifeboat as the worried parents could stick in with the shipboard "babysitters". I first read this as a child, as my mom had a paperback copy from 30 years ago. I like it, because these girls aren't portrayed as either children, or as angst-ridden teenagers, or as mini-adults, but as "tweens"--they think about school, daydream, and exhibit other childlike behaviors, but are as capable and resourceful as many other people are at that age in real life. Of course, there's a happy ending.
Adelle
This book was a read-aloud with my kids, and we loved it! It had aventures that excited us, sweet baby moments that endeared us to the characters, and funny moments that filled the room with giggles! Perfect for a summer time read!
Roberta
I remember this book so well. I loved it! Of course, at the time I loved playing orphanage and imagining a world without adults. Rereading I realize that it's a terrible book, full of bad attitudes and clichés but I can't deny my first response to it.
Hilary Forrest
An interesting tale of two young girls shipwrecked on an island with several toddlers and a baby. Too unbelievable and the girl's had quite a legalistic view of religion which I owe to the time period it was written in.
Lisa
Sometimes books are not as good as you remember them.
Faith M:)
Love this book! Read it ALL THE TIME when I was younger!
Koalababy5267
Scottish courage and little mothers come together for a outstanding book, about babies, pirate gold and desert islands.
Michele
I loved this book when I was younger. I recently rediscovered it and was disappointed to learn that it's actually terrible.
Heather Simpson
This was a cute book that I read with my 8 and 10 year old daughters. We all enjoyed it.
Matt Young
This was a childhood favorite of my wife. Good clean fun book for young girls.
Anna Murdock
I read this to the kids, we all really liked it.
Shelly Leyden
In the home of my tender years, many lovely and mysterious books were kept in an old, oaken lawyer's case, smelling of ancient varnish and sparkling with glass-fronted shelves. On long and lonely afternoons of my only-child childhood, you'd often have found me there, sitting dreamily in front of this case, on the wide-planked wood floor amidst quiet, dust-laden sunbeams. Even before I could read, I'd flip reverently through pages, lingering over a line drawing here or a trove of full-color plate In the home of my tender years, many lovely and mysterious books were kept in an old, oaken lawyer's case, smelling of ancient varnish and sparkling with glass-fronted shelves. On long and lonely afternoons of my only-child childhood, you'd often have found me there, sitting dreamily in front of this case, on the wide-planked wood floor amidst quiet, dust-laden sunbeams. Even before I could read, I'd flip reverently through pages, lingering over a line drawing here or a trove of full-color plates there. Every time I opened this case, I hoped to magically discover something previously unseen. And one day, in this case, I found this book. Our copy an was an old and faded, clothbound affair done up in red and navy. The book's many intriguing illustrations drew me to look at it many, many times — until the time I found I could read it. Thus, I believe it to be one of the very first books I ever read on my own. Slow to read as I was, I still recall singing out in my mind, "A chapter book, a chapter book, at last, at last, at last!" The story evidently made a great impression on me, and perhaps set my sights on seafaring books of all sorts. All my life, I've been known to love books connected to the sea, though I've always lived mid-country, far from adventure, and steered completely clear of any possibility of shipwreck. I googled to trace down wisps of memory about this book and was tickled to revisit details I absolutely recall. It all begins with the Wallace sisters — and I specifically remember this name! — who for whatever reason loved caring for babies. Something that I, myself, completely reviled and could not a whit understand at that time. Traveling alone to meet their father in Australia, Mary and Jean end up adrift in a lifeboat with four fellow survivors — babies! Eventually shoring up on a lovely tropical island, the girls build shelter, learn to survive on wild foodstuffs, see the babies through various developmental milestones — and do it all with thrilling success. They adopt the requisite baby monkey to raise alongside the babies, too. Of course they do! Whenever the girls are in difficulties they sing "Scots Wha Hae" — I definitely do remember this detail! — to rally their courage. I wondered what that really sounds like, but thanks to the wonders of technology, I'm listening to it as I type. Could this have something to do with my selection of a 100% Scottish husband? More likely, could this be why I taught my daughter to "sing, sing a song" in order to face frightful tasks, such as fetching items from darkened rooms or what have you? Ah, the power of early influence! The girls also encounter a man, something like Friday of Robinson Crusoe fame. This mysterious island dweller is accustomed to living alone and abhors children, but of course warms to the girls and babies, and all enjoy his company and craftsmanship. In the end, the girls are rescued — on Christmas Day — and all babies are returned to rightful parents. As for our man Friday, all Wikipedia tells me is that the girls 'miss him.' Hmm. At least this suggests they did not subjugate or co-opt or transport the man away from any hidden, island-dwelling family members whether he wanted to or no. Take a note, Crusoe! Ah, anyway. What a crazy memory to have dug up on a random Thursday morning of my reading-crazed adulthood. When I'm an old, old woman, someone should give me a vintage copy of this book for Christmas. If they do, I will cry like a baby. #MapMyReadingLife
Leona Carstairs
Maybe I expected more of surviving on this island, but that's not what I got. This was a cute and boring AF novel about a pair of sisters stranded on an island with a bunch of babies when there is a false alarm that their ship is sinking. There just wasn't enough danger for me. Everything came out nice and cookie cutter perfect, and even in that one part where the girls are in danger, I knew they were gonna get out of it because this book was pretty predictable. Not a fan at all.
Aimée
I have a 1967 Scholastic Book Services copy of this delightful story. I remember loving it when I was a little girl and just recently re-read it. I still found it enjoyable.

It is definitely written for little girls, who are age 7 or 8, and contains an appropriate amount of "challenging" vocabulary for that age group. Advanced readers will breeze right through it and slower readers will be able to figure out more difficult words in context.

I found a book report I did third-grade tucked neatly in I have a 1967 Scholastic Book Services copy of this delightful story. I remember loving it when I was a little girl and just recently re-read it. I still found it enjoyable.

It is definitely written for little girls, who are age 7 or 8, and contains an appropriate amount of "challenging" vocabulary for that age group. Advanced readers will breeze right through it and slower readers will be able to figure out more difficult words in context.

I found a book report I did third-grade tucked neatly in the back and will off that as my "review." Please excuse the errors. I was 8. :-)

Baby Island
by Carol Ryrie Brink

In this story, two girls, Mary and Jean Wallace, are aboard a ship heading for Australia, where they are going to join their father.

The girls take the job of babysitting for two families they admire during their voyage.

Almost halfway from their destination a storm strikes causing their ship to wreck. The girls hurry to warn the families in which they have babysitted for. The young children are given to the girls to take aboard the lifeboat.

Once aboard the lifeboat with the children, the girls notice a man with his baby daughter running for the boat. He gives the girls his baby and tells them not to leave until he comes back with his wife. At this point the ship give a violent shake and Mary and Jean's lifeboat goes down into the water and is carried away. The girls and four babies are all alone now and spend 2 nights and a day and a half in the lifeboat when they come upon a deserted island.

They live on the island for six months in which the 6 have many adventures, meet a man who lives on this island, and finally are rescued.

Obviously the first chapter captured my young imagination the most. But this is truly a delightful story.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
How I loved this book as a kid!! My sister got it from Scholastic Book Services and I read it over and over; I was amazed at how much of the actual text I remembered, word-for-word, 40 years later. My control-freak sis saw herself as mumsy Mary, who adored babies and animals and did everything right the first time. Except, yeah, kidnapping other people's kids thinking you are "saving" them, without looking around for the parents first. Yeah, that's a pretty big mistake. Then there's younger sis How I loved this book as a kid!! My sister got it from Scholastic Book Services and I read it over and over; I was amazed at how much of the actual text I remembered, word-for-word, 40 years later. My control-freak sis saw herself as mumsy Mary, who adored babies and animals and did everything right the first time. Except, yeah, kidnapping other people's kids thinking you are "saving" them, without looking around for the parents first. Yeah, that's a pretty big mistake. Then there's younger sister Jeannie, who is an impulsive and curious tomboy, "the father of this family" who gets things wrong that come right...like not carrying a sewing kit, but the safety pins she does carry keep the kids from floating out to sea...and the postcards.

Back in the sixties I never asked myself when the book was first published, because we were used to hero kids who could do anything--Nancy Drew, Katie John, Donna Parker etc. But now I see it came out in 1937, which explains why the girls are so good at cooking over a fire (not to mention building a fire that you can actually cook over), making stuff that actually works, etc. Their "man Friday" is just another big kid who has to be looked after and brought up to be decent, and of course their almost-womanly purity brings about the changes he needs in record time; by the end of the story he's ready to go back home and make an honest woman of his fiancee, and raise a few young 'uns of his own.

If you're looking for dysfunctional, dystopian YA fiction, look elsewhere. If you want to read about two Roberta Crusoes who make good on a 3-month camping trip, you'll enjoy this.
Karen
I remember this book with such fond memories. I treasured this book as a kid. I have talked about it many times and always thought it was a book lost to me as "disposable trashy" novelette from my past. I decided to google it and found that the author is beloved author Carol Brink of Caddie Woodlawn, also a favorite of mine from childhood. WOW! I never knew. I am so excited to see that I can still find her book and that others too loved this title.

My favorite book as a kid. I remember when I lo I remember this book with such fond memories. I treasured this book as a kid. I have talked about it many times and always thought it was a book lost to me as "disposable trashy" novelette from my past. I decided to google it and found that the author is beloved author Carol Brink of Caddie Woodlawn, also a favorite of mine from childhood. WOW! I never knew. I am so excited to see that I can still find her book and that others too loved this title.

My favorite book as a kid. I remember when I lost it and found it on the drugstore rack and stole it back.

A wonderful story about girls being shipwrecked with babies from the steamship. They wind up a deserted island and survive while tending to all the babies. I loved this fantasy of having so many babies to take care of and how it was all so perfect. Published in 1960 it was a perfect book for creating the nurturing moms wanted to stay home and take care of babies. Now that i am grown up and a school librarian I hope to have titles that offer kids a wide range of choices in what they dream about and yet appeal enough to them to be remembered years later as one of their favorite books, even if it is probably silly by todays standards.

THANKS CAROL RYRIE BRINK!! You helped make me a reader who grew up to share this love with others.

Recommend with reservations

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie BrinkCaddie Woodlawn
Donnell
Had remembered enjoying this book as a child but could not remember its substance so asked if we could read it in Book Club.

It does have a pleasant, cozy feel in the way the two young girls are able to survive on a desert island making a home for themselves and the four babies they believe they have rescued from a sinking ship.

But it wasn't a sinking ship--and there is the problem for me as an adult reader who has become a mom. The girls take three of the babies out of their parents cabin, sin Had remembered enjoying this book as a child but could not remember its substance so asked if we could read it in Book Club.

It does have a pleasant, cozy feel in the way the two young girls are able to survive on a desert island making a home for themselves and the four babies they believe they have rescued from a sinking ship.

But it wasn't a sinking ship--and there is the problem for me as an adult reader who has become a mom. The girls take three of the babies out of their parents cabin, since the parents are not around, thinking they are saving them. Actually, their action is premature.

At the end, note, we do not see the mom of these three babies and can only guess at how she might have spent the last three months. Probably in anger and anguish over believing her children were dead and dead because they had been taken off by two young girls.
Elena
Hilarious, and delightful in retrospect, because I know from my grandmother's stories that she was definitely a baby-borrower, just like the resourceful protagonists of this 1930s adventure novel. (It was evidently a thing in the 30s, at least in New York City, for young girls to take their neighbors' children on walks around the block for fun and zero profit.)

I don't know that adults who don't have fond memories of this one from childhood will get much out of it, but I think kids would still fi Hilarious, and delightful in retrospect, because I know from my grandmother's stories that she was definitely a baby-borrower, just like the resourceful protagonists of this 1930s adventure novel. (It was evidently a thing in the 30s, at least in New York City, for young girls to take their neighbors' children on walks around the block for fun and zero profit.)

I don't know that adults who don't have fond memories of this one from childhood will get much out of it, but I think kids would still find it fun and funny. Warning for some time-period typical discussion of indigenous peoples as "savitches" (savages) and potential cannibals from the perspective of naive middle-class American children.
Liza Connolly
So bad that it’s good. I un-ironically enjoyed it as a kid and read it many times, enjoying the adventure aspect. In retrospect, though, it’s so unbelievable and dated--the idea of having to keep all those babies alive when you have no resources sounds awful to this jaded adult. And the moralizing! It’s horrendous and it’s worth the read (even just for laughs), but if I were reading it to an impressionable little girl, I might want to follow it up with a palate-cleanser like From the Mixed-Up Fi So bad that it’s good. I un-ironically enjoyed it as a kid and read it many times, enjoying the adventure aspect. In retrospect, though, it’s so unbelievable and dated--the idea of having to keep all those babies alive when you have no resources sounds awful to this jaded adult. And the moralizing! It’s horrendous and it’s worth the read (even just for laughs), but if I were reading it to an impressionable little girl, I might want to follow it up with a palate-cleanser like From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, which shows kids of the same age who don't think training to be a Mommy is the only and utmost pinnacle in life.
Kellye
I adored Caddie Woodlawn and wanted to be her when I grew up. Until now I didn't know the same author wrote Baby Island, but I should have realized. I was a little older when I read this one, maybe 9-10 rather than 6-7, but it exerted the same near-hypnotic fascination over me that Caddie did. I read it again and again, not sure why I was so obsessed but sure I needed to go over it just one more time. I never really craved a pioneer existence, just as I never wanted to spend even an hour strande I adored Caddie Woodlawn and wanted to be her when I grew up. Until now I didn't know the same author wrote Baby Island, but I should have realized. I was a little older when I read this one, maybe 9-10 rather than 6-7, but it exerted the same near-hypnotic fascination over me that Caddie did. I read it again and again, not sure why I was so obsessed but sure I needed to go over it just one more time. I never really craved a pioneer existence, just as I never wanted to spend even an hour stranded with four babies, much less weeks. Although it occurs to me now that both books, and especially this one, feature really very ordinary little girls who are able to save themselves (and others!) through having paid good attention, being well-read, and having persistence and ingenuity.
Roberta
One of my favorite books when I was a little girl was "The Pink Motel" by Carol Ryrie Brink, so naturally I thought I would enjoy another book by her. It is ludicrous that 2 little girls could do everything that Mary and Jean did, from rescuing 4 babies to building a sturdy teepee to surviving on a desert island for 3 months. And WHERE did all this canned milk and canned beef come from? Surely the lifeboat couldn't have had such a large cache of supplies. An emergency supply, yes, but more than One of my favorite books when I was a little girl was "The Pink Motel" by Carol Ryrie Brink, so naturally I thought I would enjoy another book by her. It is ludicrous that 2 little girls could do everything that Mary and Jean did, from rescuing 4 babies to building a sturdy teepee to surviving on a desert island for 3 months. And WHERE did all this canned milk and canned beef come from? Surely the lifeboat couldn't have had such a large cache of supplies. An emergency supply, yes, but more than three months' worth of food? I don't think so.

Every time that Mary gushed about loving babies, I couldn't help but think of a spoof of "Project Runway" I had seen on YouTube. Watch from 0:57 - 1:06.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAfSj...
Rebekah
This book had me laughing all the way through. Okay, so some things (a lot of things) were rather unlikely, and someone trying to tear apart the book would have penty to talk about. But nothing happened that was flat out impossible or totally unexplained. And the point of the book wasn't to tell a very likely story. The point was a story for fun - and that's exactly what it was. So since the book accomplished what it was intended for, and since it didn't bend things out the the possible, I felt This book had me laughing all the way through. Okay, so some things (a lot of things) were rather unlikely, and someone trying to tear apart the book would have penty to talk about. But nothing happened that was flat out impossible or totally unexplained. And the point of the book wasn't to tell a very likely story. The point was a story for fun - and that's exactly what it was. So since the book accomplished what it was intended for, and since it didn't bend things out the the possible, I felt free to give it all five stars. It certainly gave me five stars worth of enjoyment.

I recommend it to any girl ages 8 - 13 and to anyone that age or older, male or female, who likes kids or who likes to laugh.
Whitney
Gonna be honest - I haven't read this book since childhood, but as a girl I read it probably a dozen times. Stories about children on their own and desert islands have always appealed to me. The girls are brave, self-sufficient, and, I thought, realistic. I was not a kid who was fascinated by or enraptured with babies - the whole mothering aspect was not really a draw for me. I saw it as a grand adventure story about girls who had to fend for themselves and provide for others at the same time. I Gonna be honest - I haven't read this book since childhood, but as a girl I read it probably a dozen times. Stories about children on their own and desert islands have always appealed to me. The girls are brave, self-sufficient, and, I thought, realistic. I was not a kid who was fascinated by or enraptured with babies - the whole mothering aspect was not really a draw for me. I saw it as a grand adventure story about girls who had to fend for themselves and provide for others at the same time. I'm sure as an adult I wouldn't find it nearly as enchanting as I did when I was 7, but it's not written for me as a 21st century adult is it. It's a good premise and a solid story. Is it unrealistic? No more than any children's book that is about a grand adventure.
Stephanie Sheaffer
My 2nd grader and I just finished "share-reading" this novel. Her rating would probably be a "4" and I understand why. The premise of the book is that two young sisters get shipwrecked on an island...with four babies to care for! Naive and entirely unbelievable, it is also charming in its innocence (similar to the The Boxcar Children).

A fun read for early elementary children (especially young girls!).

*UPDATE: Just finished reading this book a second time and enjoyed it more. The last line of my My 2nd grader and I just finished "share-reading" this novel. Her rating would probably be a "4" and I understand why. The premise of the book is that two young sisters get shipwrecked on an island...with four babies to care for! Naive and entirely unbelievable, it is also charming in its innocence (similar to the The Boxcar Children).

A fun read for early elementary children (especially young girls!).

*UPDATE: Just finished reading this book a second time and enjoyed it more. The last line of my review remains true: "Naive and entirely unbelievable, it is also charming in its innocence (similar to the The Boxcar Children)."
Judy
rating: 3.5

This has all of the elements of a story that I would have loved as a child. How did I not stumble across it at the library!? Babies. An island. No adults. Adventure. A little suspense. ... (I can't say more without spoiling the story.)

After the shipwreck, Mary (the eldest child, age 12), wasn't worried about their plight because she had read books about people who'd been shipwrecked. Here's what she told her younger sister (age 10):

"Why, the public library at home is just full of book rating: 3.5

This has all of the elements of a story that I would have loved as a child. How did I not stumble across it at the library!? Babies. An island. No adults. Adventure. A little suspense. ... (I can't say more without spoiling the story.)

After the shipwreck, Mary (the eldest child, age 12), wasn't worried about their plight because she had read books about people who'd been shipwrecked. Here's what she told her younger sister (age 10):

"Why, the public library at home is just full of books about shipwrecked people who landed on tropical islands. And did you ever see a book written by a person who was drowned at sea? I never did." p. 9
Nicole LaRue
I first read this book when I was 7 years old, and liked it so much I reread it half a dozen times (give or take a few) in the 2-3 years following. Then it started to fall apart (got it used), so I put it in storage, and it was destroyed by a nasty flood. So I tossed it and promptly forgot all about it, until today when I read something that jarred my memory of the book, name and all... I came to see if I was right, and now I'm dying to read it again! I'm now off to see if I can find it for free I first read this book when I was 7 years old, and liked it so much I reread it half a dozen times (give or take a few) in the 2-3 years following. Then it started to fall apart (got it used), so I put it in storage, and it was destroyed by a nasty flood. So I tossed it and promptly forgot all about it, until today when I read something that jarred my memory of the book, name and all... I came to see if I was right, and now I'm dying to read it again! I'm now off to see if I can find it for free somewhere!
I recommend this book to everyone, regardless of sex or age. It's not chick lit, it's not overly simplistic, and it manages to not preach at you.

I'm off to find Baby Island!
Drucilla
I like survival stories and, although this doesn't contain any hardcore survival stuff, it was fun to read, especially when the dialogue is so funny (even though it's not supposed to be). It would've been nice to have known that this book was originally published in 1937. I spent a lot of time thinking the dialogue and characterizations were bad because I missed the word "reissue" and just saw "1993". Now that I know it was written in 1937, everything makes sense and I like it a lot more. Once I I like survival stories and, although this doesn't contain any hardcore survival stuff, it was fun to read, especially when the dialogue is so funny (even though it's not supposed to be). It would've been nice to have known that this book was originally published in 1937. I spent a lot of time thinking the dialogue and characterizations were bad because I missed the word "reissue" and just saw "1993". Now that I know it was written in 1937, everything makes sense and I like it a lot more. Once I find a copy, it's going on my shelf.
Jessica
Super fun book! Girls on an adventure. My second grader loved it. However, for a child just finding their reading "voice" this can be a hard read as there are accents. While my daughter read this and rose to the challenge within her reading program her literal thinking mind highlighted the challenge of accents. She loved the story but it was humorous to talk to her about things and ask about word or try to pronounce them. This adventure of shipwrecked children may be better suited for 4th - 6th Super fun book! Girls on an adventure. My second grader loved it. However, for a child just finding their reading "voice" this can be a hard read as there are accents. While my daughter read this and rose to the challenge within her reading program her literal thinking mind highlighted the challenge of accents. She loved the story but it was humorous to talk to her about things and ask about word or try to pronounce them. This adventure of shipwrecked children may be better suited for 4th - 6th grade. The children show resilience, faith, resourcefulness, kindness, and more.
PWRL
This was a favorite book of mine as a girl. I read it many, many times as a gradeschooler; I was delighted to find it at the library and know that it is still in print. Obviously it was an easy read since it is a children's book. It's hard to rate it from the viewpoint of an adult but I found I enjoyed the story again. It is totally unrealistic but it appeals to my 'little girl' side. I was surprised at how much of it I remembered since it has been near 50 years ago that I read it! A fun read fo This was a favorite book of mine as a girl. I read it many, many times as a gradeschooler; I was delighted to find it at the library and know that it is still in print. Obviously it was an easy read since it is a children's book. It's hard to rate it from the viewpoint of an adult but I found I enjoyed the story again. It is totally unrealistic but it appeals to my 'little girl' side. I was surprised at how much of it I remembered since it has been near 50 years ago that I read it! A fun read for my summer.
Beth
One of a handful of books that I reread weekly for years. Was there anything better than getting the Scholastic Book flyer every month and figuring out how many books you could afford to buy and trying to earn free books? :)

As a child the story seemed plausable; as an adult it seems unrealistic. It appealed to the adventure-lover in me just like Pippi Longstocking, and I thought the girls were very brave and resourceful and wanted to believe that I could be like them if I was thrown into the sam One of a handful of books that I reread weekly for years. Was there anything better than getting the Scholastic Book flyer every month and figuring out how many books you could afford to buy and trying to earn free books? :)

As a child the story seemed plausable; as an adult it seems unrealistic. It appealed to the adventure-lover in me just like Pippi Longstocking, and I thought the girls were very brave and resourceful and wanted to believe that I could be like them if I was thrown into the same situation.
Kristen
Oh you know...just two pre-teen girls stranded on an island with 5 babies. One of the sisters (the older one, go figure) is the perfect little mother who is delighted to inherit all of these babies. The other, more interesting sister, suggests that they throw one of the babies overboard because his name is Jonah and takes to a monkey instead of a baby. Overall, it is a ridiculously fluffy Robinsonade. I grew tired of Mary's obsession with babies, grammar, and moral reform, but it provides an int Oh you know...just two pre-teen girls stranded on an island with 5 babies. One of the sisters (the older one, go figure) is the perfect little mother who is delighted to inherit all of these babies. The other, more interesting sister, suggests that they throw one of the babies overboard because his name is Jonah and takes to a monkey instead of a baby. Overall, it is a ridiculously fluffy Robinsonade. I grew tired of Mary's obsession with babies, grammar, and moral reform, but it provides an interesting contrast to more modern female castaway stories like Island of the Blue Dolphins.
Cheryl
An oldie, but a goodie from my own childhood! I remember reading this when I was in fourth grade. I checked it out from my school media center, and I remember thinking (at the time) what a great story it was. Two little girls are shipwrecked and stranded on a deserted island with four babies, and this book tells all about their adventures. Re-reading this as an adult, it is pretty implausible and a little campy--but I still like it! My own daughter is now reading it--not sure if she likes it as An oldie, but a goodie from my own childhood! I remember reading this when I was in fourth grade. I checked it out from my school media center, and I remember thinking (at the time) what a great story it was. Two little girls are shipwrecked and stranded on a deserted island with four babies, and this book tells all about their adventures. Re-reading this as an adult, it is pretty implausible and a little campy--but I still like it! My own daughter is now reading it--not sure if she likes it as much as I did when I was younger, but I think she is still getting a kick out of it.
Susie
This book was a hoot! A friend listed it on her facebook "Top Ten" as a favorite from childhood. Surprisingly, I had never heard of it, even though I was a huge Carol Ryrie Brink fan (how many times did I read The Pink Motel and Caddie Woodlawn?) This felt like a cross between The Swiss Family Robinson and The Boxcar Children.

I have to admit, I didn't see the ending coming; I expected happily ever after, but not the way it developed. As historical reference, it's interesting to see how things ha This book was a hoot! A friend listed it on her facebook "Top Ten" as a favorite from childhood. Surprisingly, I had never heard of it, even though I was a huge Carol Ryrie Brink fan (how many times did I read The Pink Motel and Caddie Woodlawn?) This felt like a cross between The Swiss Family Robinson and The Boxcar Children.

I have to admit, I didn't see the ending coming; I expected happily ever after, but not the way it developed. As historical reference, it's interesting to see how things have changed in almost 80 years.
Sara
Not sure what made me think of this book tonight. I just remember LOVING it when I was a kid. I can still see exactly where it was in the Jefferson Elementary library of my childhood. I loved it so much that I read it 5 or 6 times. Funny that I still do that with books I love. I think my first read of this book was in late second grade...wonder what I would think of it now. I am guessing that it is a bit sexist and I know it has very strong gender stereotypes that really would be bothersome to m Not sure what made me think of this book tonight. I just remember LOVING it when I was a kid. I can still see exactly where it was in the Jefferson Elementary library of my childhood. I loved it so much that I read it 5 or 6 times. Funny that I still do that with books I love. I think my first read of this book was in late second grade...wonder what I would think of it now. I am guessing that it is a bit sexist and I know it has very strong gender stereotypes that really would be bothersome to me now!
Sarah
My copy of 'Baby Island' still resides on my shelf so that I can (somewhat guiltily) re-read it when I'm feeling down, although the print's practically worn off it from years of love. Such a great book. At age nine, I couldn't think of anything I'd want more in the world than to have a couple of real babies all to myself to play with, without some grown ups telling me how to do it.
Alisha Bennett
Part mystery, part fantasy, part adventure and all fun this remains one of my favorite childhood books. My daughter has now enjoyed the story; and what young girl wouldn't? Two fun, intrepid and responsible sisters are shipwrecked with a handful of toddlers/babies they have rescued. From here the excitement increases with mysterious island inhabitants, monkeys, incoming tides and more. At turns funny and sweet the two main characters display courage and ingenuity in their survival as well as tha Part mystery, part fantasy, part adventure and all fun this remains one of my favorite childhood books. My daughter has now enjoyed the story; and what young girl wouldn't? Two fun, intrepid and responsible sisters are shipwrecked with a handful of toddlers/babies they have rescued. From here the excitement increases with mysterious island inhabitants, monkeys, incoming tides and more. At turns funny and sweet the two main characters display courage and ingenuity in their survival as well as that of their brood who steal the show with their baby-antics.
Elsa
Just finished it as a read aloud for our study of the adventure genre. Not sure how it would go with my son, but no worries my daughter 10 and son 9 enjoyed it. My daughter wanted to cry when it was over, hopefully she loves it so much, she'll give it a go on her own. I loved that the characters had a faith similar to my children. Sometimes today's books are devoid of religion, and it's nice to share a book in which my children can relate in that aspect as well.
Jo
This was a cute book. It was highly unrealistic, but that was in part its charm. It was about 2 sisters and 4 babies stranded on an island. They meet up with a lot of adventures during there stay, another residence on the island, a charming little monkey, and more. I personally love stranded stories like these, because it is always fun to see people use nature to their advantage. This is a good book for ages 7-12.
Melissa
Chelsea Meacham
holy crap, i randomly remembered this book the other week, and then went on a google search to see if it was actually a book i read as a nine year-old, or if my wacky imagination had dreamed up this story of shipwrecked preteens and and a bunch of babies... but it really does exist. someone actually wrote this story. and i am going to have to reread it, because i'm sure it is even more entertaining (in a completely different way) than my memory of 21 years can give it credit for.
Karen
A childhood favorite that I decided to reread. Pretty much as I remembered it, and kind of funny now that I have two children and many parts read more like fantasy than adventure. All four babies woke up in the middle of the night and were back to sleep in less than an hour! Hahahaha! Plus, what on earth did they do for diapers?

And after wondering for all these years, I finally found out the melody for "Scots, wha hae wi Wallace bled." Thanks, YouTube.
Carrie
I still like it for all the reasons I liked it in elementary school -- it's basically two girls playing house on a deserted island with real babies.

This time around, I was also greatly entertained (and slightly horrified, but mostly entertained) by the girl's efforts to domesticate the uncouth sailor man on the other side of the island. Which they mostly approach by trying to convert him to Christianity.
Siskiyou-Suzy
Baby Island is a fun, wish-fulfillment story for wholesome children (most likely wholesome little girls). Surely I wasn’t the only one who fantasized about being orphaned or abandoned as a child? There is a strange magic in the parentless, and though this story is far more domestic than, say, Batman’s or Harry Potter’s, it still scratches that itch. And it is wholesome! Boy is it, yet I believe young children just getting into chapter books would gobble it up.
Amanda
The year I was in Mrs. Christenberry's 4th grade class, I read this and wrote a book report. Loved it. I have a feeling it would not hold up to a reading as an adult, but I don't care.

A bunch of kids and an old sailor stuck on a desert island, it has nothing in common with Lord of the Flies other than the island. This was cute and had a happy ending. Also unrealistic, but who cares about that when you are in 4th grade?
Kricket
shipwrecked on a desert island with BABIES!! lots and lots of BABIES!! when i was little, this sounded fun. now it sounds like hell.

update: re-read in 2014 after the great flood of detroit that left me feeling like i'd been shipwrecked. i still think it's weird that they were stranded with a bunch of babies, but i love all the survival stuff. and mr. peterkin is pretty awesome. quality nostalgic fun.
Jen Blackham
...this was read to me in third grade and was an immediate favorite. I reread it on my own that year and several years after. As an adult, even though I only have sons (this does probably appeal more to girls than boys)I had to have it for MY library.

As I reader, I think you can't help but imagine yourself in the story ... I think as a 9 year old girl I thought "oh yes, I'd be the BEST babysitter, I could SO take care of those babies on a deserted island" ...
Mimi
A few years ago, I found this book that I remember reading again and again at an Used Book Store. I grabbed it and then put it aside. While moving books around the other day, I picked it up and gave it a re-read.

The set up is delightfully odd, but ultimately it is as sweet as I remembered. What a great trip down memory lane.
Pat
Great 1930's feel, with no modern worries about strange men, kidnapped children, evil intentions - this is a pure fantasy adventure for two little girls who love babies and can somehow manage to feed and clothe four infants for two months on an island after their ship is shipwrecked. I remember reading this as a little girl and loving the romance of it all.
Lillian Bittle
I have read this book three times, and each time I remember why I love it so much. It is an adorable little story of these two sisters who get shipwrecked on a 'deserted' island -- with three babies! A cute, fun, story of their adventures on the island, and how they learn to survive -- while juggling three toddlers! Totally recommend this book!
Brianna-Michelle
I remember reading this book when I was younger and became obsessed with playing a game I called "Island". Basically I built a fort in my room with my baby dolls and reenacted the book. It's still one of my favorite memories to this day and a book I'll definitely have to buy for myself and my mum as I wore her copy to pieces. Literally.
Michelle Nogales
I *loved* this book when I was 10 or 11 years old... so much so that I'm afraid to go back and read it, for fear it will disappoint. But it certainly is fascinating for any kid who likes to read about children out on their own without grownups--for example My Side of the Mountain or Island of the Blue Dolphins.
Angie
Lizzie: I know that it might be hard for them to survive with babies, but I like how they go on many adventures and make a home. I think that they are very grave and never give up and do anything for the babies.
Pat
Like a lot of this book's fans, I read it first in elementary school and LOVED it. Read it again while studying children's lit and ... Okay, it's silly and unbelievable, but it's still fun. (Though: they reissued it in 1993? What possessed them? This is by no means a book for the 1990s.)
Ingrid Jonach
Like 'In the Keep of Time', this was one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITE BOOKS as a kid.

I DESPERATELY wanted to be shipwrecked on an island with a bunch of kids. It was the ultimate 'playing house'. It would be my worst nightmare now!
Leia Horton
This was an adorable read-aloud. Two young girls were ship wrecked on a deserted island with four babies, alas the name "Baby Island." Their sweet spirits and tenacity to over-come obstacles was displayed in all that they did. This was a very wholesome and enjoyable story.
Brice Bowman
Just finished reading this with Lily - we both loved it! A sweet and funny story with lots of adventure - a great read aloud book for younger girls or nice read for an older elementary school girl.
Val
This book is a childhood favorite of mine. I bought it used from the elementary school library. It was one of the first books I ever owned. The story is about two young girls who are shipwrecked on an island with a whole bunch of babies. Silly, but a simply delightful read.
Jamie
I read this last night when I couldn't sleep. My mother read this book as a little girl and recently picked it up. It is obviously out of date but it is a charming story that I didn't expect to suck me in.
Susan

Another book that could be dreck for all I know, but was greatly beloved as a child. (Would be interesting to poll how many Lost fans were also fans of Robinson Crusoe and books like this where one is stuck on an island...)
Anita
I read this in Jr High and I remember thinking it was the funniest book I ever read. I can't remember much of the plot now, but I do remember the laughter and sneaking a flashlight into the closet so I could finish reading it way past my bed time. :)
Corinne Wilson
I read this in the 1980s — several times. It was one of my absolute favorites!!! I’ve been meaning to re-read though I’m afraid I’ll lose the magic. I mean nine-toed grumpy old man, two girls, a bunch of babies, a shipwreck? That’s some high concept. It’s like babysitter’s club meets Robinson Crusoe!
Jennifer
Such a cute story! I just loved Jean's '30s era exclamations and how she wasn't supposed to say "darn."
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