Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Michelle Cuevas
Illustrator: Catia Chien
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Turtle is feeling lonely. He dreams of a better, more inviting home for himself, so he decides to make some exciting renovations to his shell. He adds a splash of paint, a deck, gardens, homes, everything he can dream up. New friends from all over flock to his shell while he takes a nap. Whimsical ballerinas, brave sailors and creative painters are among the new residents. He is no longer lonely, for his shell is now the town of Turtle.
This book is filled with captivating and dream-like illustrations by Catia Chen that match the tone of the book. In the middle of the picture book, the fold-out illustration of the town serves as a colorful highlight, sure to thrill young readers. This book would be a great way to teach students about figurative language; it’s filled with poetic, almost lyrical text. However, this poetic style makes the book a bit nebulous. The words and story are quite abstract (some illustrations teeter on this line as well). While this might be a selling point for some readers, other may feel the story or message goes over their heads.This is a unique book that might not be for everyone, but would be fun to read and discuss with child who loves to get carried away with their imagination.