From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—Crystal, an old tortoise, and Zelda, a goose, are best friends. They have traveled together and shared their fears, hopes, and dreams. When Crystal disappears from the garden and it's evident that she has died, the young goose revisits their friendship and discovers that loved ones live on in our hearts. Charming but static pen-and-ink drawings of the characters capture the essence of the short narrative sentences, though Loth's depictions of abstract concepts like "fear" and "dreams" do nothing to extend the text. More a greeting card than a book, this offering addresses a tough subject, but fails to develop the characters enough to be fully engaging. Alan Durant's Always and Forever
(Harcourt, 2004) is a better choice.—Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC
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Zelda is a little goose who enjoys spending time with her friend Crystal. But even though turtles live long, Crystal is growing old. Soon their time together, swimming, reading, and talking, is over. When the other geese tell Zelda that Crystal has died, she doesn’t believe it. She looks everywhere, but at last she must accept that Crystal is gone. As Zelda remembers all that Crystal taught her about the world and the good times they shared, she realizes that her friend will always be in her heart. Although there are other books for young ones that deal with the topic of death, this gets high points for the simplicity of the text—a few lines per page—and the handsomeness of the design. Buff, mottled pages serve as the background for illustrations that are elegant in their spareness. The characters, deeply colored and outlined in ink, dominate the spreads, and despite the somber subject, moments of humor escape into the art. Like Mo Willems’ City Dog, Country Frog (2010), this story of a final friendship touches the heart. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Ilene Cooper