Why is it that so often our life in this modern world prevents us from living; no time for pausing or reflecting? Days roll into weeks, weeks into months, and before we know it, it’s Christmas. After a week or so of vacation we are suddenly packing up the Christmas and New Year’s decorations. Then it is time to put out the new calendars and we start making resolutions all over again.
“This year we will make the time!”
“This year we will do those things that seem so important!”
You know—those things we never seem to make time to do. What would happen if it all just stopped?
That is one of the powerful ideas to wrestle with in the wonderful little book, Abel’s Island.
The story is about a wealthy mouse, Abelard Hassam Di Chirico Flint (of the Mossville Flints), who has never really appreciated his life. Being born into an aristocratic family, never really having any need to work, and being married to a wonderful lady mouse are simple facts to Abel. Nothing special. Nothing to get all sentimental about. Then one day, they are all gone.
What does he receive in their place? Time.
Trapped on a deserted island after a storm, he is forced by Providence to take a sabbatical, left to himself and a new life full of reflection. As this simple but moving book unfolds, the reader grows with Abel. His pondering while making a new life and sitting under the stars in one of the island trees, stirs the soul—gently. They make one pause and think. They make a person stop to ask some of the deeper questions, but never in an over-bearing way.
Every afternoon, as my wife read this storybook aloud, we all found ourselves cheering for Abel. This creative, thought provoking, but light-hearted story pulled us right in. Would he ever get back home? Would he see his beloved Amanda again?
Through all the great moments, from swooping owls, to odd new friends and scary cats, the reader is introduced to profound child-like wisdom, akin to that found in books like Charlotte’s Web and The Wind in the Willows.
If your family is looking for a simple but special read-aloud, or a good excuse to curl up after a long busy day, I strongly recommend Abel’s Island. Not too many books give a family such a nice mix of profundity and fun. Who knows, mom or dad, Abel’s Island might even stir you to take some time for reflection. I know it did for me. Enjoy.