By: Regan W.H. Macaulay
Illustrated by: Javier Duarte
Publisher: Mirror Publishing
Pubication Date: June 2017
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: December 2017
Tamara the turtle, a red-eared slider, was just a baby when she found herself in the pet store. Placed in a small tank with other red-sliders, she was hopeful that somebody would buy her and take her home. Soon a young boy tapped on the glass and thought Tamara would make a good pet.
Tamara’s new home at the boy’s house was soon set up and life seemed good. She had a tank with clean water to swim in and a little dock for her to rest upon. But as time passed, the boy grew bored with the turtle. The water became dirty, feedings were forgotten, and Tamara’s shell grew soft – not a good sign!
Realizing that her son had lost interest in his pet turtle, the boy’s mother released Tamara into a creek that run behind their house. Poor Tamara! She didn’t belong in that creek! Would she survive being released into the wild, a place she definitely did not belong? Would she ever find a good, loving home?
Author Regan Macaulay has written a heartfelt story about the plight of unwanted pets – particularly turtles. Most of us probably know of a family that bought a pet on a whim – a dog, a bird, a rabbit – that eventually fell out of favor with the family. In the case of small animals such as fish and turtles, people think they’re doing the animals a favor by releasing them into the wild. The author, however, shows what a bad idea that is when readers see what happens to Tamara in that creek. The story does have a happy ending, and teaches young readers an important lesson along the way about the importance of caring for pets and the very necessary work that various rescue organizations do each and every day. At the back of the book is a two-page spread with a list of various organizations where further information on red-sliders can be found, as well as numerous turtle rescues that help find forever homes for these sweet little reptiles.
Quill says: A good tale to engage young readers and teach them the importance of caring for pets, as well as the necessary work rescue groups do for at-risk animals.