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|Alfie : (the turtle that disappeared)|
Author: Heder, Thyra
Told from the perspective of both the girl, Nia, and her pet turtle, Alfie, and describes what happens when he disappears on the eve of her seventh birthday to find her a special present.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.50
Points: .5 Quiz: 194540
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 1.60
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 72890
Kirkus Reviews (09/01/17)
School Library Journal (09/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2017 For her sixth birthday, Nia’s delighted to receive a pet turtle, Alfie, and shares with him songs, stories, and little gifts. But lacking responses from Alfie, she starts losing interest, until, on her seventh birthday, she notices Alfie has disappeared—but to where? Readers then get the story from Alfie’s viewpoint as he relates both how happy Nia made him and why he’s left his tank: to find her a special present. Eventually, after searching indoors and outdoors, as well as getting advice from a dog, a snail, and a fish, Alfie returns with the perfect gift, and a festive birthday is had. 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. Although the concept of hibernation may need explaining (Alfie returns on what’s revealed to be Nia’s eighth birthday), overall, this is a charming story of the bond between child and pet. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2017 PreS-Gr 2—A girl named Nia gets a pet turtle on her sixth birthday. She names him Alfie and the two of them spend a year together with Nia making every effort to include her pet in all her activities. But turtles will be turtles—not being the most playful or cuddly as pets go—and Nia loses interest. Then, on the morning of Nia's seventh birthday, Alfie goes missing. That's when the story changes from Nia's to Alfie's point of view, as the intrepid turtle goes on the hunt for the perfect gift for Nia's birthday. He first explores around 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. Readers see the passage of time illustrated through the change in seasons from fall to winter and then spring, when Alfie wakes up from his "nap" and emerges from the pond just 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. The beautiful ink-and-watercolor illustrations, which feature an African American child (and her family), offer readers lots of clues and thoughtful details. An author's note tells how the story is based on Heder's real-life pet turtle Alfie that she got when she was six. VERDICT A welcome addition to picture book collections perfect for one-on-one and small group sharing.—Megan Kilgallen, Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.