Kirkus Reviews QR Code
TAKE YOUR TIME by Eva Furrow


A Tale of Harriet, the Galápagos Tortoise

by Eva Furrow & Donna Jo Napoli ; illustrated by Laurel Molk

Pub Date: April 11th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9521-0
Publisher: Henry Holt

A Galápagos tortoise learns that everyone has his or her own appropriate rhythm.

Harriet, a slow-moving resident of one of the Galápagos Islands, endures the scolding of her neighbors, swims to another island “to see the penguin parade,” appreciates the variety of animals over, on, in, and under the ground and water, tries out speed by riding on a dolphin’s back, and returns with a new sense of self-respect. This sweet lesson is made even more palatable with engaging illustrations of cheerful Galápagos flora and fauna, including flamingos, iguanas, blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, dolphins, humpback whales, hammerhead sharks, spotted rays, Sally Lightfoot crabs, even centipedes and snakes. Created with block prints and watercolor and then digitally enhanced, they add an informational dimension, their light anthropomorphization echoing the personification of the animals in this imagined tale. The authors, a mother-daughter pair, have chosen to name their character after a real giant Galápagos tortoise. Taken to Australia in the mid-19th century, she died there, in a zoo, in 2006. Their language is relatively simple and the sentences short, making this text accessible to early readers, though unfamiliar plant and animal names may slow them down. Slowing down and taking time to appreciate everything around you is precisely the value this simple story reflects.

A journey of self-discovery in a unique environment.

(Picture book. 3-7)