“Space Tortoise” by Ross Montgomery

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Written by: Ross Montgomery

Illustrated by: David Litchfield

Published by: Faber& Faber

Ages: 3-8

This week we read Space Tortoise, a truly touching story about an adorable, lonely tortoise’s courage to get out of his comfort zone to take risks and explore what is out there. It is a lovely, inspiring reading skilfully written by Ross Montgomery (The Building Boy, Christmas Dinner Of Souls) and illustrated by our favourite David Litchfield (The Bear and the Piano, When I Was A Child).

Our hero lives in an old rusty playground in an empty park and the bin he made home is cosy and dry all year round; still the tortoise feels lonely as there are no other animals in the park. He sometimes searches the playground for other animals but he has no luck. Gazing up at the night sky with a candle on his small hands, he admires the stars when suddenly an idea dawns on him: what if those things glowing up there were other animals holding candles like himself? He decides to travel to space and meet these candle-holders, space animals but he needs a rocket to do that. Happily, he sees a clock tower and mistakes it for a rocket just across the park and he sets off to launch for space. Yet the journey is one full of difficulties. What will happen when he reaches the clock tower? Will he be disillusioned and disappointed at his gullible thoughts? Will the tortoise ever find a friend?

One of the best books we came across in 2018 which filled our hearts with warmth and hope. It is a great bedtime reading for your little ones. The illustrations on the double page spreads are simply captivating adding well to the lovely story.

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