The Way To Treasure Island – Lizzy Stewart – Frances Lincoln Children’s Books – Published 6 June 2019




Matilda and her dad are very different. Matilda is fast and Dad is slow. Matilda is tidy and Dad is messy, and Matilda is quiet and Dad is very, very loud. They’re off to find treasure, but Dad keeps getting distracted. Soon, they’re lost and Matilda is getting crosser and crosser… 

Will they ever find the way to treasure island?

My thoughts

The Way To Treasure Island is a bright and colourful picture book about accepting differences in personalities and enjoying the company of family. It is an adventure story full of wonder and unexpected discoveries.

Matilda is neat, quiet and likes to follow instructions. Matilda’s dad is messy, noisy, often distracted and makes things up as he goes. They love to spend time together, even through they are very different. When Matilda and her dad set out on a treasure hunt, Matilda wants to follow her map, while her dad gets them lost and keeps getting distracted. Matilda’s not sure they’ll ever find the treasure. But as they journey, Matilda and her dad will find they can learn a lot from each other.

Bright pencil and watercolour images bring this story to life. With full page spreads and other pages divided into smaller segments, Matilda and her father’s journey is carefully laid out. With a turn of a page underwater wonderlands and tropical island hideaways are revealed as Matilda and her dad discover unexpected surprises on their journey.

Matilda is impatience with her dad and his propensity for getting lost or distracted. I loved Matilda’s expressions of determination, map clenched tightly in her fist, and frustration, hands on hips and narrowed glare as her dad gets them into all sorts of trouble. But he also shows her the most wonderful things, like short cuts, underwater creatures and rocks that are actually ginormous whales.

Matilda and her dad separate on their journey. While her dad gets lost without her, Matilda finds out that being on time and following the map really, really closely can get boring. Yet both Matilda and her dad find the treasure. As they are leaving the treasure and heading home, each make a comment to convey their growth, Matilda happy to take a short cut, while her dad eager for her to follow the map straight home. The message of this story is not that one way or the other is better, but that the most fun is had together and that both ways are equally important. It’s a special message for young readers and one that is conveyed gently. And the treasure itself? Well, that’s pretty special, too.

The Way To Treasure Island is a bright and delightful picture book adults will love just as much as young readers. With its message of accepting differences and enjoying time spent in each other’s company, it’s a special book perfect for reading with that special someone.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category: Children’s fiction – Picture book

Genre: Fiction, Adventure

Themes: Family, Differences, Adventure, Treasure, Maps.

Reading age guide: Ages 4-7

Format: Hardcover. 40 pages.

Published: 6 June 2019 by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

ISBN: 9781786030245

Find it on Goodreads