Slowcoach Turtle, by Kyle Mewburn

Tilda scrambled up the steep, overgrown bank towards the apple orchard. It was hard work. her fringe was plastered to her sweaty face. But her eyes were shiny with excitement. She could see the frame of the old flying fox peering over the top of the bank.

Slowcoach Turtle is book three in the Pop Hooper’s Perfect Pet series for newly confident readers. Main character Tilda lives life at a breakneck speed and is a little annoyed that her best friend Nat doesn’t seem to want to play at her pace. They have an argument and Tilda goes off on her own, wishing she had a monkey to play with. Cue the arrival of Pop Hooper and his wonderful road train full of pets. He promises her a monkey if she will look after a turtle for 24 hours. Tilda is less than enthusiastic about the turtle which although slow, keeps wanting to escape. She can’t wait until the 24 hours are up and she can get her monkey. The wait seems even longer because she’s still not friends again with Nat. Heath McKenzie’s humourous illustrations add to the fun.

Pop Hooper is very good at matching pets with children…much better than the children initially think. He gently encourages the children realise that the pet they thought perfect may not be their perfect pet after all. Not by telling them, but by giving them a pet that seems to bear little resemblance to their expected perfect pet. Tilda discovers that being slow isn’t such a bad thing, in fact it’s the very characteristic that made Nat such a good friend. Chapters are short and most openings are illustrated, perfect for young readers.

Slowcoach Turtle (Pop Hooper's Perfect Pets)

Slowcoach Turtle Kyle Mewburn ill Heath McKenzie
Little Hare 2010
ISBN: 9781921541230

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

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