Written by Jean Craighead George
Illustrated by Wendell Minor
Harper, 2014. Unpaged Nonfiction
This nonfiction picture book traces the history of the Galapagos Tortoise from the prehistoric time when its ancestors arrived in the Galapagos islands to the sad day when the last remaining tortoise died in 2012. Beautifully written by Newbery author, Jean Craighead George, the lucid prose shimmers and flows like water. There is a melancholy to it that is reflected in Minor's detailed, painterly illustrations. The book includes a short glossary and sources for further study. An end note mentions that the author passed away just weeks after the the last tortoise. This is a touching introduction to the basic principles of the evolution and extinction of species and a great common core title.