Author: Jirina Meixner
Publisher: Tate Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-62746-827-5

“I have lost my best friend, my crayons, and my cat … Yes, I know, it was my fault. But I’ll fix this mess that I have caused! First, I’ll bring L.T. and my pastels back home. And then I’ll do my best to win Annie back,” Sophie thinks in Jirina Meixner’s book, The Peculiar Island of Perils and Pleasures.

This small seventy-five page paperback book is targeted toward middle age children through adults as a contemporary fantasy fiction. With no profanity but the use of the word “hell” once, there are no sexual references or extreme violence. The story’s underlying theme is about lying and how it alters relationships with others.

Young Sophie is not having a good day. Having lied to her best friend, her chum no longer wants to be with her. As an artist, Sophie takes her anger out by drawing a mean, horrible picture of her friend and also shoves her cat, L.T., pushing him out the window. Besides her cat being upset with her, her red, blue and yellow crayons suddenly disappear.

Feeling remorse, Sophie climbs out the window and follows L.T. to the sea shore where he takes a pencil raft to an island that is a sanctuary for writing tools that have been abandoned, abused or alone. The island contains scenes that the Grace of the Writing Tools breathes to life.

Sophie immediately stumbles into a pitfall while looking for her feline, while T.J. helps three pencils get on a four-humped camel. Throughout her travels, she helps a farmer pencil in the orchard, milks a cow and meets a cowboy, and talks to a hermit by a lake. With the aid of an underground information mouse network, Sophie tries not to be captured by avengers and the wrath of the Being by using seaweed, popping bubbles, hiding in wheelbarrows, and flying in blimps. L.T. is almost eaten by tiger and coyote writing instruments until a giraffe and dolphin come to his rescue.

Through the visuals of dressed-up fountain pens, scrawny and stubby pencils and quills, will Sophie tell L.T. she is sorry for being so mad and make amends with Annie? Will the three missing crayons remember where they are from or live on the island forever?

This fanciful, entertaining tome is charming while it brings to mind how we should nicely treat our writing tools, but more importantly, how we should be nice, helpful, and respectful of others. Meixner’s writing style is fun and engaging.

This book was furnished by the author in lieu of an unbiased review.

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