There once was a tortoise who lived in the park. His home was a bin and it was incredibly cosy with everything that he needed. There was one thing that bothered the tortoise though and that was where were all the other animals. Despite his excellent searching of the park he was yet to find any. Then one night, whilst holding a candle and gazing up at the stars, he had a realisation and sets about a mission to the sky to find all the other animals that must be up there holding candles just like his. Battling huge deserts - the sandpit - and choppy the seas - the paddling pool - the brave and heroic tortoise makes his way across the park, his destination - a rocket - getting ever closer. But when he gets there the rocket is not quite what he imagined. Instead he finds something much more magical…
Space Tortoise is a sweet and heart-warming story about a little tortoise who simply wants some friends. The tortoise in the story is full of ingenuity, resilience and plenty of big ideas as he is determined to find some animal friends, even if that does mean heading off into space. His epic adventure is entirely worth it though as he finds a wonderful and kind mouse who introduces him to something rather special. Just beyond the park, in a woodland, live all the animal friends that tortoise dreams of.
The story is lovely but what really blasts this book off into a different stratosphere are the incredible illustrations by David Litchfield. The story takes place at night, and light contrasts with dark, as the moon, the candlelight and the stars light up the pages. The double page spreads are a delight, the page where the tortoise is shown the forest animals is rather special.
The delightful read has messages on loneliness, friendship, bravery and kindness. Readers will learn, just like tortoise, that friends are often a lot closer than you think and that we sometimes need to be brave and step out of our comfort zone.
Recommended for 4+.