The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart
Recommended by Ariadna Jimenez-Barrios
Library Technician, Solana Beach Branch
This story portrays the lives of the inhabitants of the Tower of London. Beefeater Balthazar Jones takes care of his 181-year old pet tortoise and has a habit of collecting rain samples. His wife Hebe works at the Underground’s Lost Property Office where she reunites lost items with their rightful owner. When her Majesty envisions the reopening of the Royal Menagerie, beefeater Balthazar seems a suitable candidate to oversee the endeavor. All diplomatic gifts make it from the London Zoo to the Tower of London with the exception of a group of Argentinian penguins that go missing during the transfer. In The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise Stuart has created a world where people, animals and things become the leading characters of their own stories. Daily life at the Underground’s Lost Property Office serves as an analogy to the eventful occurrences at the Tower. In this whimsical tale of love and loss, everyone is in search of something.