Another Margaret Wise Brown favorite to add to our collection of books recycled into crafts. When the story is over but the tale is one you and your kids want to remember for years to come, why not reinvent the wheel and turn the story into a book-turned-playscape.

The Little Island is the sweet tale of an island in the ocean that changes as the seasons come and go, as the weather turns and as the animals inhabit it. The images are so beautiful and the illustrations are truly enchanting. We couldn’t help but use them to make an accoridon book of our own, for story telling activities once the words are known by heart from times read over and over. With collage and cutouts you and your child can create the world that surrounds The Little Island and sail through the scenes.

What You Need:

• The Little Island, or another book that you’re not afraid to tear apart.
• Accordion Book Chipboard or Medium Weight Craft Paper
• Kraft Tape
• Scissors
• Glue Stick
• Mini Binder Clips
• X-acto Knife
• Mod Podge
• String


Materials needed to create The Little Island Accordion book: the book itself, modge podge, foam brush, paint brush, scissors, string, and medium weight craft paper.
An exacto knife trimming a page from The Little Island book.

COLLECT all equipment needed for the project.

CHOOSE the images you think best tell the story according to the amount of panels on your accordion book.

CUT the chosen pages out of the book using an x-acto knife for a precise and clean cut.

The Little Island book cover on top of fanned out pages from the book.
Feature images and the title trimmed from the cover of The Little Island book.

REMOVE all pages in tact, setting aside the cover.

CUT the specific images of choice using scissors. Don’t forget to start with the title of your book!

Scissors and an illustration from The Little Island book showing a broad cut.
Scissors and an illustration from The Little Island book showing a detailed cut.

WHEN CUTTING the images, begin with a broad cut (keeping a boarder around the image) to separate them from the page.

CUT the separated images with a more detailed cut, removing the border and allowing the detail to form.

Two pieces of medium weight craft paper and a roll of craft paper colored tape.
Taping two panels of medium weight craft paper together.
Medium weight craft paper taped together to create an accordion-style book that stands independently.

MAKE your accordion book by laying 5 panels side by side.

TAPE your panels together with a strip of tape, alternating front and back sides, and trimming the remaining tape at each end.

ALTERNATE SIDES: the panels will fold in or out depending on which side the tape is on, so remember to alternate your tape as you go.

Images cut out from the book The Little Island layed out before being pasted on to the medium weight craft paper.
Nature scene pasted on the accordion book of The Little Island.
Nature scene pasted on the accordion book of The Little Island.

ARRANGE your images in the order of the story, laying them out along the accordion book’s panels.

GLUE the images down in their arranged places.

A foam brush applying modge podge to the backside of an illustration from The Little Island.
An image detailing using a foam brush to modge podge The Little Island illustrations to the medium weight craft paper.

USE mod podge to ensure the images are glued down in place and are flat on the panels.

A view of The Little Island accordion book scene with cat, fish, birds, and other nature images.
A view of The Little Island accordion book scene with cat, fish, birds, and other nature images.
A topside view of The Little Island accordion book.

USING your x-acto knife, cut gently down the edges of each panel to ensure the images don’t rip when the panels are bent.

BEND your accordion book in the correct way to tell your story in order.

Boat illustration from The Little Island laying flat next to two binder clips.
Boat illustration from The Little Island book being propped up by two binder clips.

KEEP some images separate (not pasted into the story), to allow for story telling with movement of images.

CUT the boat from the cover out, using a detailed cut. The boat is a nice image to keep separate as it represents the movement of the island around from season to season. The boat from the cover is a bit sturdier as it’s printed on a heavier cardstock, so will stand better on its own.

MINI BINDER CLIPS can be used to hold the boat up, while acting as a stand to be dragged along as the story is told.

The back side of a foliage illustration cut out and pasted to a folded piece of medium weight craft paper, so that the illustration stands independently.
Image of foliage illustration being propped up by folded medium weight craft paper.

OTHER IMAGES, such as the greenery on the island, can be kept separate to use as some 3D decoration for the story telling set.

CUT strips of cardboard bent in half to act as a stand.

GLUE the back of the image onto one side of the cardboard strip, allowing the image to stand in place.

Illustrations of animals and nature from the book The Little Island pasted on medium weight craft paper. In front of the scene sits an illustration of foliage and a boat being held up by small binder clips and small pieces of coral.

ARRANGE your accordion book and free-standing images in place to act as a diorama or as the scene for your story telling.

POKE a small hole at the end of the accordion book and tie a piece of string through.

USE the string wrap around the book and hold it together when it’s closed.

The Little Island book illustrations pasted to medium weight craft paper creating a nautical island scene.


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