Books about being yourself have never been more prevalent than of late. And The Box Turtle by Vanessa Roeder and Glad, Glad Bear! by Kimberly Gee are two of the latest.
When they say “box turtle” they mean a box turtle. A sweet story about being true to yourself, The Box Turtle is for the slightly older (ages 4 to 8) crowd. Terrance, a turtle, is born without an important piece: a shell. But the parents know what to do by finding an actual box for their baby. With his friend (a crab) by his side, our turtle friend is teased and tosses out its box. He goes looking for a new (better) shell. Of course, nothing is as good as the old one. This lesson is learned when the crab shows true friendship. But when they find the old shell damaged, they figure out how to fix it up and become proud of its weirdness. There are cute “adult pieces” of humor (the baby turtle has two red cheeks hanging out) and just a lot of sweet colors, details and over all feeling to the illustrations.
Glad, Glad Bear! is for the younger crowd (ages 2 to 6). Bear is glad as he has his new slippers and tutu. He is excited to go to dance class, but then feels all the feels. He is scared and even realizes that he is different from the others at dance class. But of course, he figures it out (by himself with no help from the parent). He even gets a star after class for doing so well. Cute for a toddler and the adult will appreciate the “not in story but fun details to set the mood” illustrations. Basic story and even illustrations, but nothing is simple. Would make a great lap sized board book.