Born without a shell, Terrance the box turtle happily makes due with a cardboard box that kept him “dry on the soggiest days,/ safe from the snoopiest strangers.” When a group of bullies call the carapace “weird,” Terrance promptly abandons it, venturing out in search of “something better.” Working digitally and in colored pencil and paint, Roeder (Lucy and the String) sweetly depicts the little green cherub as he peers from atop a slide and peeks inside a doghouse. He tries wearing a mailbox, but to his chagrin “it showed too much cheek.” A jack-in-the-box proves deeply alarming, and a cat box just “stunk.” When Terrance despairs, the little hermit crab who has quietly been at his side throughout magnanimously offers up its own small shell, prompting Terrance to realize that just as the crab is “more than just a shell,” so too is he. Lesson learned, Terrance labors with new friends to spruce up the old box to his liking, whatever the bullies might say. In Roeder’s skillful hands, the little box turtle offers an inarguable message about the power of friendship and the importance of working with what one has. Ages 3–5.
Pub.Date: 02/11/2020, Hardcover