Barkhouse, Janet. 2010. Sable Island—Imagine! Illustrated by Sally Bratt. Porcupine Chapter Book Series, Curriculum Plus Publishing Company, Toronto, Ontario. 47 pages.
Note (ZL): The author first visited Sable Island in early spring 2008—a sunny day-trip with friend Sandra Barry. In this story Janet Barkhouse shares many of that day’s experiences—sights, sounds, and scents of Sable—but presents them as they would be experienced by a very excited and delighted child. The child’s adventure includes travel on a small aircraft, landing on a beach, meeting wild horses and a new foal, and, when some beached balloon debris is found, learning a little about marine pollution. Interestingly, the entire story is written with no mention of the child’s name, and no indication of whether the child is a boy or a girl, thus making it easier for some young readers to inhabit the skin of the child exploring the island.
The text (about 5000 words) is illustrated with 17 black-&-white pencil sketches by Sally Bratt, with a colour pencil sketch for the cover. The book is for children aged 7 to 8 years. Porcupine Chapter Books are intended for children to read in classrooms. They are not usually sold in bookstores, but can be purchased online from the publisher. A free online teaching curriculum is available for each book in the series. Nancy Wilcox Richards prepared the curriculum for Sable Island—Imagine!:
Janet’s other Sable Island writings include Pit Pony,The Picture Book (co-authored with her mother Joyce Barkhouse, and wonderfully illustrated by Sydney Smith) in 2012, and a book of poetry Sable Island Fieldnotes published by the Friends of the Green Horse Society in 2017.