Nim loves her island home and the animals she shares it with even while her scientist father is away doing research, but trouble is on the way and a new e-mail friend could be the only one who can help.
Wendy Orr has written 24 books beginning with Amanda’s Dinosaur in 1986. She writes fiction for a wide range of age groups from books for young children to the House at Evelyn’s Pond, aimed at an adult audience. Many of Wendy’s books are available in Australia. Her works have been translated into other languages. –Web Page of author.
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First introduced in Nim's Island (2001), Nim Rusoe lives a charmed life, "stranded" on a deserted tropical island with her scientist father, Jack; timid author Alex Rover; and best friends Selkie, a maternal sea lion, and Fred, a marine iguana gastronome. When a dastardly poacher, disguised as a cruise-ship lecturer, kidnaps Selkie, Nim's makeshift family is torn asunder. Nim and Fred stow away on the cruise ship to rescue Selkie, unaware that Alex is there, too. And Jack, ignorant of either's plan, sets out on his own. Lots of near-miss hilarity ensues, as the three make their independent ways to the bigger island of Manhattan. Along the way, Nim discovers pizza, elevators, and television and makes some people friends to boot. Characterizations are bigger than life, especially those of Fred and Selkie, and Millard's line drawings capture them perfectly. With a feature film of the earlier book, starring Gerard Butler, Jodie Foster, and Abigail Breslin, arriving in theaters in April, this second outing is sure to be popular.--Thom Barthelmess
From: Reading Today
Nim and her scientist dad are the only inhabitants of a tropical island paradise in the middle of nowhere. They've got bananas, coconuts, iguanas--and e-mail! When her dad heads out to sea for a few days to study plankton Nim's not afraid because they keep in touch via solar-powered cellular phones. But when his messages cease and a tropical storm looms she gets worried.
She asks her new e-mail friend for advice but Alex is an author living halfway across the globe who's allergic to excitement. She only experiences adventure vicariously through the exploits of her characters. All this time she thought she'd been writing to a kid with an overactive imagination. Now that she realizes Nim is in real trouble, is there enough time for a happy ending?
A resourceful, pint-size heroine whose exotic escapades rival those of Robinson Crusoe; an exciting exchange of e-mail epistles; charming black-and-white line drawings. It's the perfect fantasy. What more could chapter book readers want?
-- Lynne T. Burke is a syndicated columnist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Abigail Breslin, Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler Directors:
Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett Distributor:
Fox Walden, Summit Entertainment, LLC MPAA Rating: PG Release Date: April 4th (wide)
Anything can happen on Nim’s Island, a place where imagination runs wild and adventure rules. Here, a feisty young girl named Nim, surrounded by her exotic animal friends and inspired by legends and books, leads an amazing tropical existence that mirrors that of her favorite literary hero: Alex Rover, the world’s greatest adventurer. When her island is threatened she reaches out to her hero for help.
But what Nim doesn’t know is that the acclaimed author of the Rover books is, in fact, Alexandra Rover, a retiring, fainthearted recluse locked away in a big city apartment. Now, as Alexandra nervously ventures forth into the world and Nim faces the biggest challenge of her exciting young life, they must both draw courage from the fictional gallantry of Alex Rover and find strength in one another to save Nim’s Island. –Bookreporter.com
Hollywood Reporter Review: By Kirk Honeycutt
Apr 4, 2008
Gerard Butler plays the dual role of Nim's father and the intrepid Alex Rover, while Jodie Foster stumbles with the overripe comedy.
"Nim's Island" is a crowded one, a tropical isle jammed with childhood fantasies, exotic creatures, outlandish plots and improbable characters both real and imagined.
The idyllic island makes Disneyland's Jungle Cruise look like neo-realism and contains more well-meaning messages than an After School Special, yet this family comedy adventure from Walden Media is likable in a scruffy way. Its characters, especially the youngest one, are engaging, and few adults are immune to childhood fantasies about secluded tropical isles. Fox can anticipate above average business from a broad audience.
The script by the husband-and-wife directing team of Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett ("Little Manhattan") along with producer Paula Mazur and Joseph Kwong draws upon Wendy Orr's 2002 novel about a remote volcanic paradise that hosts two humans, a tomboyish young girl Nim (Abigail Breslin) and her scientist father. Her playmates are Selkie the Sea Lion, Fred the Bearded Dragon and Galileo the Pelican, while her literary hero is Alex Rover, the lionhearted star of adventure novels.
When a storm strands her dad at sea without any means of communication and the island is threatened with devastation -- by tourists -- she reaches out to Alex via the Internet. How is Nim to know that her hero actually is Alexandra Rover (Jodie Foster), an agoraphobic writer locked up in her San Francisco apartment, afraid to venture as far as the mailbox.
Both females find the inner strength to challenge their worst fears, thanks in large measure to the fictional courage of Alex Rover. Scottish hunk Gerard Butler plays the dual role of Nim's father and the intrepid Alex Rover, an Indiana Jones with a heartier laugh, who appears to Alexandra and haunts Nim's imagination.
Unlike "Romancing the Stone," where a novelist finds herself pleasingly trapped within an adventure that mirrors her fictional creations, "Nim's Island" doesn't know where to draw the line between real life and fiction. When "real life" characters pilot a helicopter and then a row boat in a typhoon and a little girl can jump start a volcano, what role does fiction have to play?
Breslin is on the surest footing here. She instinctively knows how broadly to play the young heroine, making her game feisty but still a little girl terrified over her missing dad. Butler rolls through both roles by channeling an overdeveloped sense of macho into slightly different versions of the same man.
It is Foster, though, who stumbles with the overripe comedy. Too much slapstick slips into her performance. The agoraphobe's anxieties are all played for laughs, so no real victory is achieved by her overcoming what can be a very real distress.
The beaches of Australia's Gold Coast, rain forests of Hinchinbrook Island, visual effects and highly trained exotic animals create a whimsical paradise you only wish you, and no one else, had discovered.
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