The third installment of Slack’s wildly inventive animal/rescue-vehicle hybrids (Monkey Truck, 2011, etc.).
Turtle Tug has flippers below and a tugboat deck above, formed by his green speckled shell. It’s his job to keep the sea safe. He chugs along “with a keen, watchful eye” on all his oceanic friends. But suddenly, “The sun disappears. / Clouds gather and form. / The ocean is brewing a / tempestuous storm.” (Look at that seamless insertion of an SAT word.) Fierce determination crosses Turtle Tug’s face, and he plows into the turbulent waves to save his friends. Panicked puffins need a ride, and a stranded seal pup grabs a life preserver. The most unlikely of all the rescues—a sperm whale tangled in lines is towed to safety—is still endearing. Fans will cheer Turtle Tug on in his mission. Besides championing selfless acts of bravery, Slack also comments on the environment. In addition to the whale’s predicament, a poor squid is hampered not by the storm but by six-pack rings and plastic bags. Each creature’s worrisome looks of woe are replaced by wide smiles once the stormy sea abates.
A role model for all, levelheaded Turtle Tug keeps his cool even in times of danger. (Picture book. 2-5)