Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Memoirs of a Tortoise: Picture Book Review and Giveaway

 Congratulations to Danielle Hammelef who won The Voice that Won the Vote from last week's blog.

Memoirs of a Tortoise (Sleeping Bear Press, 2020) is a clever and heart-warming book written by Devin Scillian and beautifully illustrated by Tim Bowers.  Young readers will follow a year in the life of Oliver, an 80-year-old tortoise, whose "pet" is his fellow senior citizen, Ike. It is a book about friendship, aging, and taking time to enjoy the world around us. 



It's a glorious day and Ike just brought me a plate of lettuce and dandelions and a bright, crunchy apple.

Ike is my pet. I love Ike. And Ike loves me. He runs his hand across my shell and tells me so.

This, this is life and it's beautiful.


Ike throws a stick and says, "Oliver, fetch!" But we just laugh because we both know I'm not chasing a silly stick. We do this every day.



Oliver ambles across the garden to enjoy the hibiscus. He remembers his mother telling him, "The whole world is in a hurry. They miss so much."


"... this is my favorite time of all, just me and Ike and this beautiful garden. How long can we sit here? How about forever?" 


Everything about life has slowed down--including Ike. When the baby pool and garden hose aren't put away, Oliver beings to wonder. Where is Ike?

When Oliver sees sad people come to Ike's home, he realizes that Ike is gone and decides to visit his 137-year-old mother. But it's a long walk to her garden and Oliver has to cross ten gardens to get to her. Finally, he sees her wide smile and sparkly eyes.


"Why do we have to lose people? Why couldn't Ike stay with me?"

Mother smiles. She closes her eyes and raises her head to the sun.

"We only get to have pets in our lives for a little while, she says. They don't live as long as we do. So we have to enjoy them every day."


Oliver is glad to be back home, but when the door to the house opens, he looks for Ike. But he isn't there. Instead, his son Ted greets Oliver. 

"I'm so glad you came home, Oliver. It's you and me now."

Parents and grandparents will enjoy reading this sweet story to their children and grandchildren. 


Leave a comment by 6 PM on Friday, November 27 to enter the giveaway. Please leave me your email address if you are new to my blog. 



Susan said...

So cute - enter me!!

tricia said...

What a wonderful and poignant story.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Tricia and Susan. Your names start the list!

Lois said...

What a wonderful story. A gentle way to talk about death with children. Thanks for sharing, Carole.

Carol Baldwin said...

You're right, Lois. And You're in.

Becky Scharnhorst said...

Oh my goodness! This post almost brought me to tears! I love all of Devin Scillian and Tim Bower's Memoir books, but this one seems especially wonderful.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Oh, my! Thanks for sharing these lovely excerpts. Sounds like a great book to read with my 6- year-old granddaughter!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Carol Baldwin said...

Good to hear from both of you, Becky and Connie. You're in!

Danielle H. said...

I watch Devin Scillian every week night on our local NBC news. I knew he was a singer/song writer, but wasn't aware he was also such a talented author!! This beautiful book is now the second picture book to make me cry (even though you only posted excerpts). Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

rowanhistorylady said...

Nice illustrations and story! So honored to get to see the amazing work of others.

Jana Leah B said...

Tortoises are my favorite.
turtle6422 at gmail dot com

Carol Baldwin said...

With "turtle" as a part of your email address, I guess they are, Jana Leah. You, Theresa, and Danielle are all in!

Barbara Younger said...

What a wonderful story! I'd love to win a copy for my grandson, Mazen, whose favorite toy animal is Lonesome George, created in honor of the famous Galapagos tortoise.

Carol Baldwin said...

You're in, Barbara!

Terri DeGezelle Michels said...

Thank you for sharing a wonderful story.

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Carol,
This is such a cool story with wonderful illustrations. Thank you for sharing it!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your readers!

Never Give Up

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Joan. I assume you want your name in the hat for this one?

Unknown said...

Another adorable story and fantastic illustrations!
Hope you and the family had a super TG holiday.
Fondly, Hewi Mason

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Hewi. You just got in under the wire! Drawing a name soon!

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