Little Bee Books, April 7, 2015
Brubaker, Ford and Friends February 2012
Illustrated by Tor Freeman
Most every young child has a “lovey” of one kind or another. In these times, a time when even our young children live in an ever-more complicated day-to-day world, “loveys” still provide a sense of comfort and reassurance. One day, a four-and-one-half-year old child told me an impassioned story about all the good things and bad things that happened to him and his beloved lovey—from the moment of his birth until the very moment he was telling me his story. His story ended when he told me that his beloved stuff animal was “too shrimpy and raggedy” now. Those words started me thinking about TURTLE AND ME. Later that day, I wrote down some of the things that he’d said. A month of so later, when I began to write, the child in my book took on a life of his own. And I thought that at some point in the book, my character might feel that since he had “grown up to age four,” and that since he was now bigger and stronger than his beloved “lovey,” he might just wonder if he was too old or too big to have his TURTLE anymore. At that moment, I knew I had a story. Enter the marvelous illustrator Tor Freeman, who understood immediately the dilemma my character was having. And the moment I saw Tor’s first drawings of the young boy and his TURTLE, I knew she was a perfect match for my story. I feel in love with the young child she drew, and with the way she drew Turtle, and the child’s parents. With humor, empathy, and no fear of strong emotions, Tor was the perfect artist to match with my story.
Here’s a little bit of what Publishers’ Weekly said in their starred review: “And yet there is nothing prosaic in these pages — it’s a book of poetic, plainspoken beauty, resonant with deeply felt emotions about attachment, loyalty, and growing up.”