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Alfie: (The Turtle That Disappeared) Hardcover – Picture Book, October 3, 2017

4.9 out of 5 stars 55 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2—A girl named Nia gets a pet turtle on her sixth birthday. She names him Alfie and the two of them spend a year together with Nia making every effort to include her pet in all her activities. But turtles will be turtles—not being the most playful or cuddly as pets go—and Nia loses interest. Then, on the morning of Nia's seventh birthday, Alfie goes missing. That's when the story changes from Nia's to Alfie's point of view, as the intrepid turtle goes on the hunt for the perfect gift for Nia's birthday. He first explores around the house, encountering the family dog, then ventures out onto the fire escape, down into the yard, and through a sandbox until he grows cold and tired. A friendly snail suggests that Alfie take a nap in the pond in the yard. Readers see the passage of time illustrated through the change in seasons from fall to winter and then spring, when Alfie wakes up from his "nap" and emerges from the pond just in time to celebrate what Alfie believes is Nia's seventh birthday. Readers will delight to see the two reunited and will notice that it is actually Nia's eighth birthday, as the number indicates on her birthday balloon. The beautiful ink-and-watercolor illustrations, which feature an African American child (and her family), offer readers lots of clues and thoughtful details. An author's note tells how the story is based on Heder's real-life pet turtle Alfie that she got when she was six. VERDICT A welcome addition to picture book collections perfect for one-on-one and small group sharing.—Megan Kilgallen, Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn

Review

"Her watercolor spreads are carefully executed with few stylistic mannerisms; all the attention is directed toward the characters. It’s a treat watching Alfie deliver Nia the perfect birthday present."
(Publishers Weekly)

**STARRED REVIEW**
"With beautiful, expressive watercolor illustrations...Heder takes readers on a journey about what it means to be a child with a new pet who sometimes loses its luster but never its worthiness of love. A perfect companion for a young pet lover or pet owner-to-be."
(Kirkus)

"Nia’s and Alfie’s first-person descriptive accounts are extended by lovely, intricately detailed ink-and-watercolor illustrations that artfully highlight the varying perspectives and amusing moments, as when Nia introduces Alfie to her toys...a charming story of the bond between child and pet."
 
(Booklist)

"The beautiful ink-and-watercolor illustrations, which feature an African American child (and her family), offer readers lots of clues and thoughtful details . . . A welcome addition to picture book collections."
(School Library Journal)

Product details

  • Lexile measure : AD490L
  • Grade level : Preschool - 3
  • Item Weight : 1.01 pounds
  • Hardcover : 48 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1419725297
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1419725296
  • Dimensions : 9.38 x 0.5 x 10.25 inches
  • Publisher : Harry N. Abrams; Illustrated edition (October 3, 2017)
  • Reading level : 4 - 8 years
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 55 ratings

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
55 global ratings
5 star
92%
4 star
6%
3 star
2%
2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star 0% (0%) 0%
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