It's the first day of school and Little Tortoise is worried. Can she get there on time?
It's the first day of school and Little Tortoise is ready with a backpack filled with new school supplies. Little Tortoise can't wait to get to school and tries very hard not to be the last student there.
But soon Cheetah, Llama, and even a snail on a scooter, overtake her.
And then when she gets stuck in the gutter of the book, she's sure she'll be the last pupil to arrive! But the timely arrival of Mr. Sloth, her new teacher, changes everything.
Gentle reassuring language full of wordplay, and bold and bright art by an up and coming artist offer students a comforting story about this new experience. Here's a fresh way to encourage reluctant students to be on their way.
July 19, 2022
Preschool - 2
Lexile: AD430L | Fountas/Pinnell: M
Carrie Finison can’t remember a time when she didn’t love reading picture books, and now she writes them as well. Her favorite themes are friendship, encouragement, and doughnuts! When she’s not writing in her cozy attic office, Carrie loves reading mystery novels, trying new recipes, and hanging out with her husband, son, daughter, and cats.
Erin Kraan is a children’s book illustrator, woodcutter and printmaker. She loves the process of carving her characters into wood and seeing how their quirky and whimsical identities come to through the ink in the prints. Erin usually walked with her siblings to get to school wearing her favorite pair of red sneakers. She made it on time before the bell rang...most days...
Slow and steady wins the day.
Little Tortoise is thrilled about the first day of school. She’s anxious to be punctual, so she zips along as fast as she can. Might she arrive first? Kids will likely understand right away that tortoises aren’t fast, and the humorous, hyperbolic narration clarifies from the outset that Little Tortoise’s “swiftness” is a product of her own wishful, overexaggerated thinking... Onomatopoeic words and words occasionally set in large capitals enhance the comedic effect. A plus: Kids may learn a bit about various speedy critters. The colorful illustrations exude liveliness; animal characters are very expressive, especially Little Tortoise, who’s an endearing, self-assured charmer.
Hurry to read this adorable, delightful twist on a very familiar tale. (Picture book. 4-7) Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2022
Every year I select my favorite Back to School picture book title. And this year that honor is going to this marvelous work by Finison and Kraan. I think a fair number of kids will be able to identify with Little Tortoise and her intentions to get to her first day of school on time. Trouble is, she is a tortoise and all, and her initial pep takes a significant hit as more and more animals pass her on the way. But the true joy of the book is the narrative. It’s so enthusiastic with lines like, “She is probably setting a new land speed record for tortoises.” Then you get kooky sounds from other critters, like a llama for some reason saying, “Wock-a-pa, wock-a-pa!” (which strikes me as a bit disco). The surprise reveal of who Little Tortoise’s teacher is makes for a very pleasant capper as well. So the readaloud aspects are great, but then just LOOK at Erin Kraan’s art at work here! Woodcuts illustrated with watercolors? With a gorgeous brown/pink palette? All that and the racing stripes painted on Little Tortoise’s shell make me extra happy. Fuse8 School Library Journal, December 2, 2022