The Story of the Blue Planet
Illustrated by Áslaug Jónsdóttir
Translated by Julian Meldon D'Arcy
Brimir and Hulda are best friends who live on a small island on a beautiful blue planet where there are only children and no adults. Their planet is wild and at times dangerous, but everything is free, everyone is their friend, and each day is more exciting than the last.
One day a rocket ship piloted by a strange-looking adult named Gleesome Goodday crashes on the beach. His business card claims he is a "Dream.ComeTrueMaker and joybringer," and he promises to make life a hundred times more fun with sun-activated flying powder and magic-coated skin so that no one ever has to bathe again. Goodday even nails the sun in the sky and creates a giant wolf to chase away the clouds so it can be playtime all the time. In exchange for these wonderful things, Goodday asks only for a little bit of the children's youth—but what is youth compared to a lot more fun? The children are so enamored with their new games that they forget all the simple activities they used to love.
During Goodday's great flying competition, Hulda and Brimir fly too high to the sun and soar to the other side of planet, where they discover it is dark all the time and the children are sickly and pale. Hulda and Brimir know that without their help, the pale children will die, but first they need to get back to their island and convince their friends that Gleesome Goodday is not all that he seems.
A fantastical adventure, beautifully told, unfolds in a deceptively simple tale. The Story of the Blue Planet will delight and challenge readers of all ages.
“In the tradition of Roald Dahl and Maurice Sendak, Magnason’s story celebrates the ferity and fearlessness of childhood as an idealized state. . . . a Suessian mix of wonder, wit, and gravitas.”—Amanda Little, New York Times Book Review
"With The Story of the Blue Planet, Andri Snær Magnason gives our own aching planet a deep green fable in which ordinary children can wreck a world … or save it. A global ecosystem, or a child's inner ecology, Andri cares for the well-being of both, and demonstrates the ways in which the two are, in fact, indivisible."—Marcus Ewert, author of the award-winning 10,000 Dresses
"The Story of the Blue Planet combines the vivid simplicity of a fable or fairy tale with a modern voice, spiced with droll humor. An imaginative, original vision that is more than an environmental parable or a thrilling story: it peers into the human heart in search of wit, courage, and compassion."—Rebecca Stefoff, YA author and adapter of A Young People's History of the United States and A Different Mirror for Young People
"The Story of the Blue Planet can be read on many levels: as pure fairytale, a contemplation on ethics, a fable or entertainment … There is one word that encapsulates everything that this story is: genius."—Morgunbladid
"The Story of the Blue Planet is both real and unreal, simple and complex, serious and funny. Above all, Magnason has proved that social and moral criticism is far from obsolete: a children's book can be provocative and funny, even outrageous, while (as a true fairy tale) inducing the child to contemplate moral values, which have been horrendously distorted by the media and contemporary mass culture."—Nordic Literature
"[E]xcellently written and illustrated, [The Story of the Blue Planet ] will undoubtedly be found on many children's bedside tables."—Dagur
"A memorable and provocative tale, and a splendid opener for discussions about our own blue planet."—Publishers Weekly
"Andri Snaer is an astonishingly great writer, with the analytical genius of Noam Chomsky and the wildly charming imagination of Lewis Carroll. Who would expect to find both of those people inhabiting one youngish Icelandic man? In The Story of the Blue Planet, the politics are beneath the surface, and the enchantment is everywhere, but the book is a parable about greed, development, love and happiness that has something for grown-ups as well as children."—Rebecca Solnit, author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost and The Faraway Nearby
About Andri Snaer Magnason
ANDRI SNÆR MAGNASON is one of Iceland's most celebrated young writers. He has written poetry, plays, fiction, and non-fiction, and in 2009 he co-directed the documentary Dreamland, which was based on his book Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation. In 2002 LoveStar was named "Novel of the Year" by Icelandic booksellers and received the DV Literary Award and a nomination for the Icelandic Literary Prize. His children's book, The Story of the Blue Planet—now published or performed in twenty-six countries—was the first children's book to receive the Icelandic Literary Prize, and was also the recipient of the Janusz Korczak Honorary Award and the West Nordic Children's Book Prize. Andri is the winner of the 2010 Kairos Award.