How Old Is Mr. Tortoise? by Dev Petty illustrated by Ruth Chan

Published by Harry N. Abrams

Summary:  Mr. Tortoise knows it’s his birthday, he knows he wants to eat cake with his friends, but he doesn’t know how old he is.  His friends try to help him calculate by counting sections of his shell, quizzing him about his early memories, and looking at a photo of him on a previous birthday.  They’re finally able to arrive at a number that seems accurate: 115.  It’s too many candles to put on the cake, so Mr. Tortoise decides to light one for every friend who’s there to help him celebrate.  He blows out the candles and makes a wish…for more cake.  40 pages; ages 3-8.

Pros:  This comic-inspired picture book is a happy celebration of birthdays, friendship, cake, and creative problem-solving.

Cons:  I’m not convinced that 115 is the Mr. Tortoise’s correct age.


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