Either as children or adults, most of us have wondered, “what if ” and “if only.” Then follows an imagined life or scenario of the way things would be if we could only do them differently. Imagination is a great way to be someone entirely different or live an alternate life. Children can do this in a more positive way than adults, since they have fewer regrets and more time to explore infinite possibilities. In The Turtle Who Imagined, by Mary Esparza-Vela, with art by Kevin Scott Collier, a small turtle does just that.
Mary Esparza-Vela shows the turtle imagining he can leave his shell and hop like a rabbit, fly like an eagle, jump out and roar like a bear, and play in the mud like a pig. However, when he falls asleep and dreams he can do as he imagined, he finds his dream self not enjoying the transformation. When he suddenly awakens to danger, he realizes how important his protective shell is and fully appreciates who he is.
Kevin Scott Collier’s artwork is perfect to help us imagine along with the turtle. We are sad and frustrated with him, as well as happy when he’s happy. And in the end, we are content with ourselves just as he is. Every nuance of his journey of self-discovery and appreciation comes alive through Kevin Collier’s illustrations.
This is an important lesson at any age, to know oneself and acknowledge one’s abilities and gifts. What you see as your limitations can be the very things that help you succeed as you learn to overcome obstacles and barriers. We shouldn’t let our imagined imperfections define or limit us. Rather use them to become our best self. Thank you to Mary Esparza-Vela and Kevin Scott Collier for this entertaining and self-affirming children’s book.
Available through Guardian Angel Publishing.