37 pages 1 hour read

William Steig

Abel's Island

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1976

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Important Quotes

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“Roaming among the trees, admiring the verdure, he saw a crowd of daisies clustered above him, like gigantic stars.”

(Chapter 1, Page 4)

After the picnic, Abel goes exploring and wonders about the beauty of nature around him. The author uses a simile (a comparison using “like” or “as”) to compare the daisies to stars. The figurative language conveys the scale as Abel is a mouse and everything appears larger to him. Stars also become an important motif in the narrative as Abel looks to them for comfort when he is lonely.

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“[S]uddenly the wind tore from her neck the scarf of gauze she was wearing, and this airy web of stuff flew like a ghost from the mouth of the cave.”

(Chapter 2, Page 8)

Amanda’s scarf is small and nearly weightless, so it’s no match for the fierce winds. Using figurative language, the author compares the scarf to a ghost as it floats away in the wind. The scarf becomes the impetus for Abel’s adventure and a source of comfort to him when he misses Amanda.

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“[A]nd what a story he’d have to tell!”

(Chapter 3, Page 16)

At first, Abel doesn’t realize the full scope of his situation. He thinks he will quickly return home and regale his family and friends with the story of his afternoon adventure. The quote is ironic because he will indeed have quite a story to tell after he is marooned for nearly a year on the island.