Written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo
Published by Henry Holt and Company LLC, 2011
Themes: pets, turtles as pets, doing the right thing
I really want a pet, but I always hear “No.” I ask Mom for a dog like that, but she says, “Too Big.”
All his friends have pets so naturally this little boy wants one, too. But receives all the stock reasons why not, when he suggests various pets to his parents. A fortuitous meeting with a turtle in the park, who is surely not TOO loud, or TOO difficult, or TOO noisy, results finally in a ‘yes’ from his parents. Melvin, the turtle, however is not too responsive to the little boy’s attempts to play with it, and is only really in his element at bath time. Melvin has a big boy decision to make.
Why I like this book:
This is a very simple introduction to young children about what makes a great pet and the importance of natural habitat for an animal – all told very much from a child’s point of view. The illustrations are soft and very traditional, which fit well with the gentle nature of the text. There’s a super double-pages spread of Turtle Facts for younger readers at the back of the book with some cute diagrams! A sweet addition for turtle-lovers and those who want a pet (which child doesn’t, huh?) I love Castillo’s choice to give the turtle but not the boy, a name.
If you have some stuffed toys, you could have the children draw the best habitat for each animal.
Make a paper plate turtle at Crafts N Things for Children
Some great turtle awareness activities from Scholastic for Pre K-3.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.