By: Devin Scillian
Illustrated by: Tim Bowers
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Publication Date: May 2020
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Memoirs of a Tortoise, from the best-selling series of books by Devin Scillian (Memoirs of a Goldfish, Memoirs of a Hamster, etc.), heads off in a different direction from the other books as it deals with the loss of a loved one.
Oliver the tortoise is a very happy, and much loved, reptile. He lives with his best friend Ike, a human who takes very good care of him. Together they enjoy every month of the year with Oliver sharing with the reader the special things each month brings.
Ike and Oliver have been together for a long time and they are both 80 years old. But while 80 isn't old for a tortoise, it is for a human. When Ike doesn't make it to the garden to share a honeydew melon with Oliver one day, the tortoise isn't too concerned. But after several days, he starts to worry. Where is Ike?
Oliver travels up to Ike's house where he sees many people, all looking quite sad. "Ike was still so young. He was 80 years old. Just like me. We were practically twins! I thought we were going to grow old together. Ike, where have you gone?"
Oliver decides to travel to his mother's garden, which is quite a distance away. But he's hopeful that once he reaches her, she'll be able to explain what's happening.
While some readers may be expecting another silly book like Memoirs of a Goldfish, this book instead tackles an important subject that is hard for so many to fathom, the loss of a loved one. Oliver calls Ike his pet, so it's a bit of a twist on the loss of a pet and would work equally well to help explain the loss of a pet and/or a grandparent or other loved member of the family. Like the other books in the series, this one is also illustrated by Tim Bowers and his artwork is truly part of what makes this series so memorable.
Quill says: Definitely a different take on the "Memoirs" series, but if you're looking for a book to help explain the loss of a loved one, or even of a pet, Memoirs of a Tortoise is a good book to consider.