Who Wants a Tortoise?
Dave Keane, illus. by K.G. Campbell. Knopf, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-385-75417-0
Learn to love the one you’re with, Keane (Daddy Adventure Day) suggests in a story about a girl who gets a tortoise for her birthday. She desperately wanted a puppy, but her father is allergic to dogs. Campbell’s (Dylan the Villain) softly tinted watercolor-and-colored-pencil drawings say plenty about the girl’s emotions as she marches off, lower lip protruding, arms crossed, sent for a time-out after sassing her father (“Did you ever think I might be allergic to a dumb tortoise?”). Campbell captures the girl’s scowl when her mother scolds her for decorating the creature’s shell (and even painting its nails), and then her dignified stride as she takes her tortoise for his first walk. By the time the tortoise gets lost in the yard, the girl’s distress makes it evident that she has found a way to love her pet—and that the name Rover is appropriate for him, too. Carefully tracing the emotional journey from disappointment to love, Keane and Campbell allow readers wrestling with their own frustrations to imagine what change feels like. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Jennifer Mattson, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/18/2016