Melvin and the Boy

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Local Bookstore


  • A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of 2012
  • A Society of Illustrators Original Art Show Selection
  • A Pennsylvania Center for the Book 2012 Baker's Dozen selection
  • A 100 Scope Notes Top 20 Book of 2011
  • A Scholastic Book Club May 2013 Honeybee selection

Get the Activity Guide:
Download Melvin and the Boy projects for children to do at home and in the classroom.

When a little boy sees a turtle basking in the sun at the park, he thinks he’s found the perfect pet. But when they get home, the boy soon discovers that the only time the turtle comes out of his shell is at bath time. Is it possible that the turtle would be happiest back in the pond? After all, it’s always bath time there! Lauren Castillo's beautiful art gives this gentle story about finding the right pet--and, in the end, doing what's right for that pet—a timeless, classic feel.
Emotionally true and therefore highly satisfying.
— Kirkus
Castillo’s expressive artwork gently sets the boy in the center of a friendly, bustling cityscape and deftly conveys his longing for an animal friend, the joy at finally achieving that goal, and the ultimate realization that perhaps a wild animal belongs in the park, not leashed or cooped up in an apartment.
— The Horn Book Magazine
With pared-down, rhythmic words and mixed-media illustrations filled with spot-on body language and details from an urban child’s world, Castillo elevates the familiar theme of a child’s unrequited yearning for a pet, adding a welcome twist when the boy, not the parents, is the first to recognize that Melvin belongs in the wild.
— Booklist