As you may already know, this is my favorite version of the classic pirate tale Treasure Island. The reason it is so high on my best books list is all due to the fabulousness that is Robert Ingpen.
Before I discovered this book at the library, I had only seen movie versions of this story.
Those were forgotten.
Ingpen’s illustrations engaged all of my senses and I never had to leave the comfort of my couch. The characters practically leapt from the pages. Flint’s map, the stockade, the Hispaniola… they all are totally real. The sweat, the blood, the gunpowder, the smell of gold all come alive through Ingpen’s art.
Stevenson definitely has a way with words, but it is true what they say, “A picture is worth a 1000 words.”
When I started reading this version to my high school English class this semester, I was overwhelmed by their enthusiasm to listen. None had seen any version of the movie (sad!) and none had even heard of the book (sadder!) but they were intrigued by the cover art… and probably my enthusiasm, ha!
The kids were confused, though, why Captain Billy Bones is on the cover when he dies in the fourth chapter. Good question, I thought, as Jim or Long John would’ve made more sense, doncha think?
On a related note, I came across this while on GoodReads:
“In his 30-year career, internationally accomplished artist Robert Ingpen has illustrated more than 100 books for children and adults. In 1986 he was awarded the highest honor in the children’s book world, the Hans Christian Anderson Medal, for his lasting contributions to children’s literature. … this delightful retrospective is a welcome addition to any art-book collection.”
Another one added to my list! 😀
Featured Image Credit: The Weekly Review (via Google Image search)