Today I am joining the blog tour Toletis by Rafa Ruiz and sharing my review of this lovely book.
The trees are disappearing and the adults don't care. Toletis, his dog Amenophis and friends Claudia and Tutan are on a mission to turn their little valley town, set deep in the mountains, lusciously green again. The odds are stacked against them. Can they succeed ...with some very unusual help? A deep appreciation for nature, art, language, music, friendship, family, the passing of time, old age, loneliness, and the importance of sitting still and reflecting on life, pervade this exquisite story. A must read for 7 to 107 year olds!
I'll start my review as I have been recently and discussing just how lovely the cover is. It's very distinctive and the colour alone would catch your eye. The illustrations throughout match that of the cover and are all beautifully coloured and joyful to look at. Also I can honestly say I don't think I've ever read a children's book that has such gorgeous end papers and french flaps! Really gorgeous at both the front and back of the book.
Onto the story! Toletis is beautifully written and well thought out, the story follows through the seasons and different activities throughout the year. I loved how each chapter contained a different activity or occurrence and that each one had some sort of gentle message to help make the world a better place for everyone.
The character Toletis is so charming. Sometimes in children's books, as they are to entertain children, the characters can be.....not so entertaining to adults. However that isn't the case in Toletis and I found him to be thoughtful and a good friend to both his real life friends and to nature. Oh and of course his dog too! His relationship with the mist was playful and helped move you through the story.
The language used throughout is lyrical and easy enough for the younger readers, but without talking down to them and it gives them some talking points to ask and discuss if they want. I think the translator has done a wonderful job capturing the magic of the story.
I love how the author has captured how easy it is for a child to cross the boundary between reality and imagination, it gives the book a magical realism feel which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Overall I gave this book 5 stars.
About The Author
Rafa Ruiz is a journalist and author who has a staunch commitment to culture, art and the environment. He spent 25 years at Spanish newspaper El País and is a partner-founder of the Press Association for Environmental Information (APIA). He has written numerous children’s books, and he codirects the Mad is Mad art gallery in Madrid which gives space to up-and-coming artists. He is one of the partner-founders of the Press Association for Environmental Information (APIA).
Elena Hormiga is an illustrator with a sense of humour. She studied and worked as an engineer and later turned to illustration.
Ben Dawlatly took an MA in Hispanic Studies and Translation Theory at UCL. He translates both technical and literary texts. However, his real calling is in fiction and poetry.
Don't Forget The Rest of The Tour