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Stories of the Islands

Journey into a land of magic and powerful girls in this feminist retelling of Indonesian folktales, lushly reimagined by a debut graphic novelist.

Once upon a time. . .
A princess was cursed to live as a snail,
Two sisters were trapped by their father’s wrath,
And a mother and daughter faced a hungry giant.

No one is coming to save them.
Will they get their happily ever after?

Publisher: Holiday House


In Stories of the Islands, debut graphic novelist Clar Angkasa takes three folk tales from her childhood in Indonesia and gives them back to the girl characters, following their hopes, dreams, and journeys for independence from malevolent forces—both natural and unnatural. Why should women in folk tales be sidelined or reduced to tropes? What if we tell their stories, instead?

Gorgeously illustrated with a dedicated color palette for each tale, this collected retelling of “Keong Mas,” “Bawang Merah Bawang Putih,” and “Timun Mas” combines fresh fantasy with a meditation on the power of love and solidarity. Filled with deep emotion, spectacular settings, and a mix of panel art and full dramatic spreads, Stories of the Islands is bright reimagining of familiar stories for a new generation.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

An Evanston Public Library Great Books for Kids pick