Book Review: Melvin and the Boy

Lauren Castillo authors and illustrates this fictional book, Melvin-and-the-BoyMelvin and the Boy (Henry Holt, 2011) about a boy who finds a turtle and takes it home. But in the end, he realizes that Melvin, his turtle, would be happier in the wild. This much-needed lesson for kids is valuable to all of us in conservation–wild things need to be wild! Lauren’s short text works for all ages. Her smudgy paintings are, as always, charming and engaging. (Did I mention that Lauren won a Caldecott Honor last year?) The final pages in the book provide turtle facts, including the important, “Remember to wash your hands before and after handling a turtle to protect each other for illness.”  A winner!