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!
Toletis is available in paperback now. You can purchase your copy using the link below.https://www.amazon.co.uk/Toletis-Ages-Seven-Rafa-Ruiz/dp/1911107143/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1OXJQ3DYHMWAG&keywords=toletis&qid=1566565332&s=gateway&sprefix=Toleti%2Caps%2C249&sr=8-1
I’ve been putting off writing this review because I honestly don’t know where to start. This is unlike any children’s book I have ever read.
The book follows Toltis and his two friends, Tutan and Claudia as they try to return the trees to their beloved valley. We see them travel through the seasons and the changes that brings to the Valley, as well as the people they meet along the way.
I found Toltis to be a refreshing change to the usual boys we see portrayed in children’s literature. He is quiet, thoughtful and unashamedly sensitive. Having a sensitive boy myself I appreciated this representation.
Tutan and Claudia are also different to societal norms. Tutan is a deep thinker and able to converse with nature. Claudia a feisty no nonsense girl with a kind heart.
Imagery and Illustrations
The imagery created in this book is just beautiful, the author pulls on all your senses to create the most wonderful scenes in your head. There is real intricate detail in this book. Things you wouldn’t expect to be described it just all adds to the over all picture.
I loved the illustrations, they are quirky and match the book perfectly. They reminded me of illustrations from books I read as a child. They are all in a muted colour palette as well which helps add to the atmosphere of the book.
One slight bug bare I had with this book, as well as other children’s books, is the need to use overly complicated names. At 8 my son can read this book himself, however he really struggled with some of the names in the first chapter and that put him off reading further.
Capeloti, Tatetotier, Mamermori and Amenophis all appear on the first page. I understand their connection to the story, however, it was difficult to encourage him to continue reading. Once your past the first chapter though, names get shorted and easier to read.
This is just a personal annoyance of mine, if your the same it does get easier.
This book is all about appreciating the little things. This is beautifully illustrated during the Sounds of Silence of game. When all is completely still and quiet what more is there to discover?
This is not a fast paced book, instead this book captures your imagination. Makes you slow down and look at the world around you a little differently. It is too be savored preferably on a rainy afternoon snuggled on the sofa.
My thanks to Anne for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Neem Tree Press for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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).
All social media in Spanish unfortunately:
Twitter: @rafaruiz and his art gallery: @mad_is_mad
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.