Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2-Margot is sad because her pet turtle named Tim has passed away. Her friends help mourn her loss, and they rally together to say goodbye. With illustrations created in only yellow, blue, black, and white, and with a single sentence per page, this book is a simple exploration of children accepting the death of a pet and learning to say goodbye. It illustrates that it is natural to be sad and demonstrates a few of the ways that friends can come together to sympathize and support one another. The story has a positive ending, as Tim arrives in a place where he can be a happy turtle forever. The black line drawings have a classic feel to them. The mostly yellow backgrounds also keep the sad story light and hopeful. -VERDICT This uncomplicated tale of love, loss, friendship, and hope is a great addition for library collections to use one-on-one or with a small group.-Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Even though it's a sunny day, Margot is feeling sad because her beloved turtle, Tim, has died. Friends arrive and make plans to cheer her up with some surprises. They tie a bunch of blue balloons to her chair. Melinda brings her French horn, Otto wears his best hat, and Roger and Vincent return with an empty box. The friends lovingly pick up the dead turtle, place it in the box and cover it with flowers. Tying up the box, the children attach it to the bunch of balloons, while Melinda plays a cheerful melody. As Margot waves a final goodbye, Tim soars to a place where he basked in the warm sun and swam in cool waters, forever a happy turtle. A simple palette of yellow and blue, gouache and black lines depicts the cartoonlike characters against generous white (here, yellow) space in each double-page spread. Quiet and sweet, illustrated in a retro style that makes it feel timeless for young people experiencing the loss of a pet.--Gepson, Lolly Copyright 2018 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
How do you let go of a departed pet? Salerno's retro caricatures exemplify comforting memorial behaviors. Black crayon is used to form the characters on the sunny yellow pages; a controlled digital palette includes accents of darker yellow, white, and black. Channeling a Bemelmans' heroine, Margot wears a skirt and an oversized bow in her pageboy. The minimalist garden setting features a chair, four white tulips, and a yellow lump. Thoughtful friends contribute blue balloons and a box. Otto dons his "best hat," while Melinda plays a "cheerful melody" on her French horn. Buddy the dog is actively present. The lump turns out to be Tim, who, when covered with the flowers and arranged in the box, ascends into the now-blue sky "to a place where he basked in the warm sun and swam in cool waters, forever a happy turtle." As in Remy Charlip's and, later, Christian Robinson's versions of Margaret Wise Brown's The Dead Bird (1958, 2016), Salerno shows readers how to help a friend mourn a dead animal. Most important, of course, is showing up. Similar to the kites in the aforementioned editions, the balloons add an important buoyancy to the telling, providing a possible entree to matters of the spirit, if readers desire it. The characters are all the yellow of the paper save friend Vincent, who is a darker yellow and has crinkly dark hair.A succinct text and an uncluttered design provide space to discover and process a loss. (Picture book. 3-6)