Lindalouise draws on science to illuminate Cletus’s journey in this educational treat. The surprisingly well-informed Leonardo and Oceana explain how baby loggerhead turtles head to the Sargasso Sea where, protected by swirling currents and underwater vegetation, they grow from tiny hatchlings into majestic creatures weighing hundreds of pounds. Cletus takes in this information while learning of his own vulnerability. Lindalouise deftly frames his future as both a distant promise and the impetus for immediate action, giving young readers a preview of long-range thinking while igniting their sense of urgency to protect wildlife.
Kerrie Robertson’s illustrations are beautifully striking, combining the cartoony quality of Cletus and his friends with sparkling sand, wispy and windblown plant life, and textured water that seems to be in constant motion. In one of the most effective drawings, Cletus realizes that predators are more plentiful than friends, as seagulls gather over the water and a fox and raccoon hide in the nearby grass. With heart-pounding immediacy and an awareness of far-reaching consequences, Cletus and his adventure offer assurance to young readers commencing their own journeys that perilous problems can be solved with understanding, cooperation, and resolve.
Takeaway: A rebellious loggerhead turtle tries to beat the survival odds in this immersive, informative tale.
Great for fans of: sabel Müller’s The Green Sea Turtle, Nicola Davies’s One Tiny Turtle, Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson’s Follow the Moon Home.
Design and typography: B
Marketing copy: B