To the Island: Molly and the Shipwreck by Malachy Doyle & Andrew Whitson

In case you hadn’t realised, I am a HUGE fan of the Molly series of picturebooks by Malachy Doyle & Andrew Whitson. This series features young Molly who lives on a island with her Mum and Dad. It’s a small fishing community that can teach us much about…well, everything we need to know. The fifth in the series is out now. And it may well be the best one yet.


author: Malachy Doyle

illustrator: Andrew Whitson

Graffeg Ltd (26 October 2021)

ISBN: 9781913733919

When Molly was out fishing with her Dad one day, she hears a cry for help over the crashing waves. In the distance she spies a woman crying out for help. She and her children are in a tiny, rickety boat that is in danger! Molly and her Dad reach them just in time; getting them to shore and giving them food and shelter for the night. Molly learns that the little family have undertaken a dangerous journey to find a new home in a safe place. And their father is still missing! Though they speak different languages, the new arrivals quickly make friends with the islanders, who offer them somewhere to stay and some clothes and food. But in a few weeks, a new challenge threatens to send the family away again. What can Molly and the islanders do to help their new friends? And can they reunite them with their father?

With the clarity of vision and an understanding that all too frequently only comes from children, this book sings with compassion, honesty and heart. The clear, eloquent story and warm, expressive illustrations talk about a problem we sometimes push to the side in our minds, even though it happens everyday. After rescuing the family, Molly decides she needs to help. Her new friendship is bound by the things they have in common; the things Molly understands (like missing your Daddy) in spite of whatever differences. The community comes together to welcome and help them, even though there are bumpy waves ahead. You see, the solution is really very simple when you remember what is important; friendship, family, community working together and opening yourself up to new ideas and adventures. There is excitement, dramatic twists, a few “edge of your seat” moments. And there is so much heart. Empathetic, wise, hopeful and full of warmth, with an ending that is utterly joyous! The Molly books just keep getting better and better!

Many, many thanks to Graffeg Ltd for gifting me with Molly and the Shipwreck for review purposes. It’s one I will share with as many children as I can find….and a good number of adults, as well. I can wholeheartedly recommend ALL the Molly stories.

4 thoughts on “To the Island: Molly and the Shipwreck by Malachy Doyle & Andrew Whitson

    1. Absolutely! Love, love, love the expressions…and the textures! They really evoke a sense of place and people…and the life there.
      I could have gone on for hours about the wonders to be found in this book…and how much it can show us about being human.

      Liked by 1 person

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