Hi, Harry

Harry the tortoise wants to play but everyone seems to be in a hurry. No one even has time to stop and talk. He sets off ever so slowly to find a pal who has time to play with a tortoise. Eventually the perfect friend finds him. The two have lots in common and they play and talk all day long. This is a picturebook where everything matters, where all the elements contribute to the overall success of the story. The slow and deliberate pace of Waddell’s spare and meticulously crafted text is perfectly underpinned by the wide-format layout, which draws the eye slowly from left to right and by the placing of sparse amounts of text on each page opening. Firth’s clear and uncluttered illustrations avoid extra detail. Executed in a linear fashion with soft colours, they work in complete harmony with the text and fit well with the oversized typeface. Her endpapers delicately enclose the narrative. This is a story of friendship, belonging and personal worth. It is a great one for sharing with emergent readers. Early independent readers will enjoy tackling it alone. It will provide lots of opportunities for discussion and will have resonances of personal experience for many.