• Title: Turtle Crossing
  • Author: Malve von Hassell
  • Publisher: Self Published on April 24, 2021
  • Genre: Children’s Picture Book
  • Pages: 38
  • Formats Available: Paperback & Digital
  • Rating: 5/5

Trigger Warnings: None

Many thanks to Malve von Hassell and Blackberry Book Tours for providing me with a digital copy of Turtle Crossing with a request for an honest review.

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Turtle Crossing Blurb

Moving from home is hard. It is even harder for young children who cannot imagine a world beyond the one they have always known. Oliver the turtle experiences this first hand. He has some adventures along the way and learns an important lesson in the process. Enjoy this read-aloud picture book with your child. For inquiring minds some interesting facts about turtles are included at the end, answering questions the reader might have about turtles.


My Review

Turtle Crossing is an adorable children’s book about the pressure of moving. Malve von Hassell tells of a scary scenario that children will understand. Oliver’s journey is one that adults and kids alike can appreciate.

Mama and Papa Turtle decide that their family is too big for their small burrow. So they decide to move nearer great-great-great Grandpa the Scaly and the cousins. Oliver hates the idea. He likes his burrow with the strawberry patch that brings him so much joy. Oliver decides not to leave with Mama and Papa and hides behind a rock when they leave. When Oliver finds that life without Mama and Papa is too lonely and quiet, he heads off in the direction they went. He faces many challenges on his way but eventually finds himself in the new burrow. As it turns out, there are many yummy strawberries there too; teaching us that a new place doesn’t have to be negative.

Oliver is so cute. I love how independent he is as he makes his way around the burrow. Mama and Papa are patient and kind to allow him to find his way. I also couldn’t get over great-great-great Grandpa the Scaly’s name. I laughed every time I came across it. Though, I held my breath at the most dangerous part of Oliver’s trek to his new home. That was scary, even for me, even though I knew he had to be okay.

The illustrations are fantastic. The depictions of the turtle’s shells are incredibly detailed. The pictures match the descriptions of the characters well. Mama with her chubby legs is my favorite. The drawings of Oliver make me smile. One thing I didn’t care for was the font chosen for the story. It doesn’t seem to fit the story because it is too skinny. I would like to see a fatter font that filled the pages in the same way that Oliver and his family filled my heart.

Oliver’s character especially resonated with me. I have moved close to 20 times in my adult life, bringing my children with me each time. They were quite resilient with each move. I did my best to make sure things stayed close to the same, going so far as to drive them 30 miles one way to school. I didn’t want them to have to change schools and could stay with their friends. There were hard decisions to make, but we did the best we could. And as the kids are now all adults, they seem to have turned out okay, despite it all.

I am happy to award Turtle Crossing a full 5 out of 5 stars. Even though I didn’t care for the font, it didn’t lessen my love for the story. This little tome is perfect for anyone thinking of moving with children. I only wish I had this book when my little ones were tiny.

See My Review for Alina: A Song For The Telling – Also by Malve von Hassell

About the Author – Malve von Hassell

Malve von Hassell was born in Italy and spent part of her childhood in Belgium and Germany before moving to the United States. She is a freelance writer, researcher, and translator. 

She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research. Working as an independent scholar, she published The Struggle for Eden: Community Gardens in New York City (Bergin & Garvey 2002) and Homesteading in New York City 1978-1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida (Bergin & Garvey 1996). She has also edited her grandfather Ulrich von Hassell’s memoirs written in prison in 1944, Der Kreis schließt sich – Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft 1944 (Propylaen Verlag 1994). She has taught at Queens College, Baruch College, Pace University, and Suffolk County Community College, while continuing her work as a translator and writer. 

She has self-published a children’s picture book, Letters from the Tooth Fairy (2012/2020) and her translation and annotation of a German children’s classic by Tamara Ramsay, Rennefarre: Dott’s Wonderful Travels and Adventures (Two Harbors Press, 2012). The Falconer’s Apprentice (namelos, 2015) was her first historical fiction novel for young adults. She has published Alina: A Song for the Telling (BHC Press, 2020), set in Jerusalem in the time of the crusades, and has a forthcoming book, The Amber Crane (Odyssey Books, 2021), set in Germany in 1645 and 1945. Currently, she is working on a biographical work about a woman coming of age in Nazi Germany.

Author’s Social Media Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog | LinkedIn | Goodreads

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