Thursday, December 21, 2017

Bertyl: I just want to belong

One of the habits I picked up years ago was to clear your desk before the end of the year. I had a boss who wasn't superstitious, but this was something she was adamant that we all clear our desks off, finish all of the tasks, you want to go into the new year on a clean slate. I haven't worked for her in years but it's still something I think about this last week of December every year. In that spirit, I'm going through my desk and basket, throwing things out, filing them away, finishing up everything possible. Hidden in my basket was this gem of a book, with my notes on a sticky note, all ready for me to review on here for you, I just never did it. So here we are.

Bertyl: I Just Want To Belong - Sandra Dobozi
How can Bertyl fit in? Bertyl is a charming adventure story written in rhyme about a sweet little turtle searching for his identity. When Bertyl is born he becomes a beloved surprise to his family. But Bertyl wonders why he is different and doesn't look like other turtles. Beryl's loving family and wise friends help him understand that "We all fit in and we all belong." This charming, wise tale reassures readers that we're each exactly right, just the way we are.
I am such a sucker for children's literature, it just holds a special place in my heart because every children's book is the potential catalyst for a lifelong reader. I really love books that naturally give you questions to ask a child about the book, it makes reading more of an experience. In this book we read about Bertyl, a little turtle who was born with no color. Bertyl is pretty sad about this, wants to look like her parents, so she goes on this mission to get color. It becomes clear (see what I did there? Bertyl is a clear turtle... I crack myself up. HA!) that it isn't about looking like everyone else to fit in but rather fitting in just the way you are. Finding friends who will like you for your imperfections anyways. It's a pretty cute little story, Penelope (age 2) really liked it. She can't understand the greater meaning of it of course, but she was astute enough to pick up that Bertyl started off sad and then was happy at the end.

I imagine this being a good book for the younger demographic when talking about making friends, fitting in, being inclusive to others, etc. Bright illustrations highlight the story throughout so it would also give great visual clues to the story as well for emergent readers.

If you have a little one in the 2-7 age range, this might be a nice little book to have in their library or as a classroom read.

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