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Toletis: For Ages Seven to 107 Paperback – 19 Oct 2017
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"Toletis is a book to savour, like roast potatoes at just the right temperature. The aromas and sounds are like the snapping of crisp branches in a winter's evening. It is soothing, like a cat purring in the mist. And it is a pleasure to behold thanks to Elena Hormiga's joyful illustrations." Eva San Martin, nature columnist; "Highly recommended for children and a sound recommendation for those of us that are a bit older but want to remember the excitement of discovering the world around us ... " World Wildlife Fund, Spain; "When Toletis comes round your house and shows you his mountains, mist and adventures, you don't want him to leave. Toletis is one to keep on the bedside table to fill your dreams with a magical, deep peace." Josefina Maestre, environmental journalist, editor of Birds and Nature magazine, presenter of Nature Reserve, an environmental program on Spanish National Radio R5; "Toletis' big heart and the powerful images in the book awaken a desire in readers of all ages to care for the earth we inhabit. Thanks to the deftness and ingenuity of the author's prose, reading these tales leaves you thinking one thing above all else: I want more!" Maisa Marban, storyteller. She has worked with Toletis for several years at festivals, schools and bookshops; "Toletis is an ideal book to take the children out of the classroom and into a world of nature and friendship; it awakens their creativity and imagination. It is useful as a textbook for thinking about the values relating to science, art and language and it has become an inexhaustible source of activities and resources." Miriam Leiros, primary school teacher in a public school in Galicia, Spain using PBL teaching methods.
About the Author
Rafa Ruiz is a journalist and author who believes the light at the end of the tunnel can only be seen through progressive eyes. He has a staunch commitment to culture, art and the environment, and the majority of his career has been focused on these three areas. He spent 10 years at Spanish newspaper El Pais and 15 years at their weekly supplement, he has written numerous children's books, and he codirects the Mad is Mad art gallery in Madrid which gives space to up-and-coming artists. He is also one of the partner-founders of the Press Association for Environmental Information (APIA).
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The twelve tales that take us through the seasons have been delightfully brought to life by the translator, especially when it comes to Toletis’s invented language, which he secretly shares with his Aunty Josefina. At its heart, Toletis is a celebration of the simple things in life, family, friends, food, and one’s local environment, with a particular theme of paying attention to and being respectful of nature, something that Toletis and his friends feel many adults are forgetting to do. This is especially highlighted in the story ‘The Wide Road’, one of my personal favourites. The book contains beautiful, quirky illustrations, bringing an additional fun element to the stories. I only wish there were more – both stories and illustrations! Other favourites are ‘A Piece of Mist’ and ‘Alexander Atherton-Aitken’, and Toletis’s taciturn grandfather, Ra, is a memorable character, but I am sure readers will find their own. Perhaps the use of ‘bigger’ words, and sometimes three to four pages in a row without pictures, means this book could be read to children of a younger age, who, together with their parents, will find much laughter and thought contained in these twelve short stories, perfect for bedtime reading and sharing a glance through these windows into a children’s world.
Rafa Ruiz has managed to perfectly capture the innocent and curious way a young child sees the world, and any adult reading TOLETIS will feel nostalgic for their own youth, while young readers are likely to see themselves in Toletis, Claudia, and Tutan.
The text might be a bit heavy for a young reader to manage on her own, but because the book is divided into stories, it's perfect for a parent to read at bedtime, and the illustrations would make it a lovely gift!
I first read the original Spanish copy a long time ago, one of my childhood books. Such a pleasure to rediscover!
Buy this book, you will not be disappointed...
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