Aug 3, 2011

Melvin and the Boy

Melvin and the Boy

Melvin and the Boy by Lauren Castillo

     A boy really wants a pet. He asks his mom and dad for a dog, a monkey, and a bird but they say no because the pets are either too big, too loud, or too much work.  When he sees turtle staring at him at the park, he knows he's found the perfect pet, and his parents agree.  He takes the turtle home and names him Melvin, "because Melvin is a good name for a turtle." The problem is that when he tries to play with Melvin, walk him like other pets, feed him pretzels or show him off to his friends, Melvin just hides inside his shell.  Melvin only seems to enjoy playtime in the bathtub.  The boy realizes that Melvin must be missing his friends because he "isn't having much fun at our house." "Maybe he wants to go back to the park."  The next day, when the boy brings Melvin back to the park and sees him swimming to the other turtles in the pond, he knows Melvin must stay there.  "But I make sure to tell Melvin I can't wait to visit him tomorrow!"
     Melvin and the Boy revisits the familiar theme of the child who wants a pet, but successfully finds the sweet and sentimental tone missing from most picture books on that topic.  The illustrations are beautiful and have a timeless feeling about them.  At the end of the story there is a series of facts about turtles to share with the young readers.   Melvin and the Boy will remind you of the classics.

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