Turtle Island

Kevin Sherry. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3391-6
Sherry’s turtle hero is proud to be “as BIG as an island,” but he’s also lonely, because the ocean is “even BIGGER.” Then a group of shipwrecked animals take up residence on his massive shell, and “Suddenly,” Turtle excitedly (and touchingly) tells readers, “things were happening.” Or, to put it another way, he becomes the foundation—literally—of a tight-knit, industrious community, where everyone has a unique and appreciated talent. Sherry (I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean) has always worked in broad strokes, both as artist and storyteller, but he finds a new level of visual subtlety and emotional acuity in this book. He lets his pictures tell the story and doesn’t shy from expressing the genuine loss that Turtle feels when the animals announce they miss their families and want to sail for home (“But wasn’t I their home?” he wonders, with plainspoken eloquence). The story resolves happily for all concerned, but what makes it especially so is the selflessness and resilience that Turtle shows when things look darkest. Ages 3–5. Agent: Teresa Kietlinski, Prospect Agency. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/10/2014
Release date: 05/01/2014
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