Amy and the Tortoise

How Animals Saved the Planet

Children - Concept
80 Pages
Reviewed on 04/18/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

John Leben is an artist, writer and filmmaker residing in Saugatuck, Michigan, a small resort town on the shores of Lake Michigan. He has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and now works exclusively in digital media.

He markets his digital paintings at art galleries and venues all over the Midwest and Florida as well as his fine art gallery in Douglas, Michigan. He also uses his images for animating his movies and his books for kids on the subject of Climate Change. His book, "Amy and the Tortoise" is also an award-winning movie that Leben included with a QR code link in the pages of his book.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Amy and the Tortoise: How Animals Saved the Planet by John Leben is a children's picture book narrated by the titular character, a young girl named Amy, who tells us how Earth was destroyed by humans and ultimately resurrected by animals. The book begins with Amy introducing the reader to how the people of the planet live at the time of her telling. Homes are built under glass cloches with manufactured air pumped in, allowing humans to live without gas masks. Amy then recounts how this came to be, describing the methods employed by an elite group of “Technocrats” who convinced people they had solutions to survival in the face of crippling pollution, global warming, and the destruction of the Earth's natural resources. Each method employed damages the world more, until one day people are forced into the cloches and the animals work to repair the ravaged planet.

John Leben presents a striking story with Amy and the Tortoise, balancing between digital artwork and the book's narrative. The art is absolutely stunning and among the best visuals I have seen in a children's book that puts an apocalyptic way of living front and center in the eyes of its readers. Leben sugar-coats nothing and, as a parent, I am grateful for that. The Technocrats with their bald heads and Burberry-style trench coats move from one ridiculous idea to the next and we witness homes being built in nests, trees, blimps, and hot air balloons to reach clean air. The color palette is muted and the pollution is palpable, practically leaping from the page. What could possibly be more terrifying than seeing a child in a gas mask and living in a glass cage? The resolution shows exactly how the removal of humans leads to restoration and healing, leaving no doubt whatsoever that we are the problem. My daughter loved this book so much that when I came back to check on her hours after bedtime, she was reading it again for the umpteenth time. Very, very highly recommended.