Author(s): Sue deGennaro
Turtle needs to get to the shop. It is important that he isn't late. When he races into the lift of Building 24 with all the busy people, there is a nod and a blink and a step to the side. A grunt and a sigh and a lean to the right.But what happens when the lift stops moving? Crocodile has a meeting to get to. And Giraffe has a doctor's appointment. And Turtle really, really needs to get to the shop.
This uplifting, relatable story focuses on themes of friendship, community and belonging. Set in the lift of an apartment building where the occupants have minimal, cursory interactions, everything changes when the lift breaks down. The occupants find themselves stuck with each other in the lift and they come together to contribute something to the makeshift celebrations to brighten Turtle's special day. Whimsical illustrations use ink, pencil and collage to give life to the anthropomorphised, quirky characters and add unique details to clothing and appearance. Each character has distinctive clothing or accessories depicting their occupation, inviting participation and discussion by younger readers. The design of the book is wonderful; with an appealing front cover and endpapers that match the lift’s interior decor. The front cover illustration is bright, inviting and appealing to the target audience. The first pages cleverly portray familiar domestic scenes while introducing characters we later meet, one by one. Young children will relate to the sense of community and feelings of belonging in this well-written book where text and illustrations harmonise beautifully to tell a charming story.
CBCA Shortlist 2020 Book of the Year: Early Childhood