An ALA/ALSC Notable Children’s Book “A charming story of the bond between child and pet.” ―Booklist STARRED REVIEW *“Beautiful, expressive watercolor illustrations . . . A journey about what it means to be a child with a new pet.” ―Kirkus Reviews
Discover the friendship between a girl and her turtle—from both points of view—in this award-winning picture book that celebrates the relationship between a child and a pet.
Nia loves Alfie, her pet turtle. But he’s not very soft, he doesn’t do tricks, and he’s pretty quiet. Sometimes she forgets he’s even there—that is, until the night before her seventh birthday, when . . . Alfie disappears!
Where did he go? And why? Nia can’t say . . . but Alfie can. This is his story, and the narrative switches to Alfie’s perspective, as the brave turtle goes on the hunt for the perfect gift for Nia’s birthday.
He explores 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.
Young readers will see the passage of time through the change in seasons from fall to winter and then spring in colorful illustrations. Alfie wakes up from his nap and emerges from the pond 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.
Parents and their children will embrace this warm, colorful, and funny picture book that celebrates friendship, even when the friends see the relationship—and the world—very differently.
About the Author
Thyra Heder is the author and illustrator of Fraidyzoo, The Bear Report, Alfie, and How Do You Dance?. She is also a scenic designer and storyboard artist for film and advertising. She lives in Brooklyn.
"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."
"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