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From the author of I Don’t Want to Be a Frog comes a hilarious new picture book that asks readers to solve one very important mystery.

It’s Mr. Tortoise’s birthday, and he can’t wait to eat cake with his friends. But there’s a hitch! Mr. Tortoise can’t remember how old he is, so his friends don’t know how many candles to put on the cake. And they won’t stop (or slice) until they figure out the mystery.

Could Mr. Tortoise be as many years old as there are sections on his shell? He’s twice as big as the smaller tortoise . . . so is he twice as old? After the partygoers work through a variety of possibilities, they find their way to the answer with a simple bit of addition.

With text from I Don’t Want to Be a Frog author Dev Petty and hilarious graphic novel–style illustrations from Ruth Chan, How Old Is Mr. Tortoise? will have readers guessing the answer from beginning to end.


A Junior Library Guild Gold Selection

Kentucky Bluegrass Award 2023-2024 Nominee

CBC 2023 Best Children's Books of the Year list 

"And hooray for Petty and Chan, whose comic hearts beat as one in this impeccably paced story told in graphic novel panels. With deadpan dialogue and endearingly goofy character-focused art, they’ve created a funny and loving salute to friendship, critical thinking, longevity, and cake."

― Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

"Mr. Tortoise’s emotions, which range from excited to thoughtful to confused to triumphant, dance across his face from panel to panel, and his friends are vibrant with enthusiasm. . . Anyone who’s ever had to wait for a treat will empathize." ― The Horn Book Magazine

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