From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–Inspired by an actual event, this saga makes for wildly entertaining reading. Sunny Boy is a self-described placid personality who longs …for the quiet life. Fate unkindly snatches the young tortoise from his peaceable kingdom for the nefarious purpose of sending him …bound for the soup pots of New York City's finest restaurants! A funny thing happens, though, on the way to his demise, when he is ejected from his carrying box onto the table of an unsuspecting diner at a sidewalk café. Thus begins the terrapin's long association with the male line of the gentleman's family. Because of Sunny Boy's great longevity, he lives with his savior for a time and then is passed down to three generations of nephews, finally landing with Biff the brave. Unlike his predecessors, Biff is an adventurer and a daredevil. With extreme trepidation, the tortoise becomes involved with the fellow's perilous pursuits, ending with a stunt involving a barrel and Niagara Falls. All's well that ends well as Sunny Boy discovers the fascination of an occasional walk on the wild side when balanced with calmer pastimes. This rollicking romp represents a wonderful marriage of text and illustration. The comical cartoon narrative, somewhat reminiscent of Quentin Blake's work, enhances the textual flow of the story. Not to be missed is the author's fascinating historical note describing the basis for this somewhat tall tale. Wacky and sure to elicit a giggle, this one is a winner.–Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA
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K-Gr. 2. Sunny Boy the tortoise wanted only to live a long, quiet life, but fate intervened: Pelonius Pimplewhite, a horticulturist, took him home. When the scientist died, Sunny Boy went to live with Pelonius' nephew, Cornelius. Later, he lived with Cornelius' nephew, Augustus, and finally, Augustus' nephew, Biff, a self-proclaimed daredevil. Unfortunately, Biff fizzles as a human cannonball and flops as a wing walker. Determined to try one last stunt, Biff roars off to Niagara Falls and builds a barrel for going over the falls. Just as the lid is closing, someone tosses Sunny Boy inside, and man and beast have the wildest ride of their lives. The energetic cartoon artwork combines foolhardiness with fun, and an author's note, "The Truth behind the Tale," discusses the real-life incident on which this book is based. Kids won't necessarily care about the facts, but they will whoop over the silliness and derring-do. Julie CumminsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved