Who Wants a Tortoise? – Dave Keane, illustrated by K.G. Campbell

51MTyFuuL8L Who Wants a Tortoise? – Dave Keane, illustrated by K.G. Campbell, Alfred A. Knopf, (9780385754170), 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Picture Book

What did you like about the book? A little girl is not happy when she gets a tortoise instead of a puppy for her birthday. Dad reminds her that he’s allergic to dogs and she gets a time out for shouting “Did you ever think I might be allergic to a dumb tortoise?” The list of things a puppy can do seems endless compared to the list of things a tortoise can do: “crawl/blink/ eat salad.” The little girl perseveres in trying to make the tortoise more puppy-like and even duct tapes the tortoise to a skateboard to take him for a walk. Little by little, the tortoise grows on her and when he disappears one day, she is forlorn. “I can’t sleep with my poor little tortoise out in the big world all by himself, with only his shell to protect him. He never made any noise, but the house seems quieter without him.” In the end she finds him in a neighbor’s garden and decides he deserves a name – Rover! This is a wonderfully realistic look at a child’s world. The watercolor and colored pencil illustrations perfectly complement the tone of the story. The end pages have childlike illustrations and drawings on yellow lined paper. The front page is labelled “tortoises? yuck!” and the back page is titled “tortoises? terrific!” This is a fun addition to pet-themed picture books.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a perfect addition to a pet themed story time. Hand this to any child who is seeking a pet. Pair it with other unusual pet stories such as Dog Fish by Gillian Sheilds and I Want a Pet by Lauren Child.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, if you are seeking a new story about pets.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review: 7/18/16


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