The Mystery of the Missing Carapace: Hector's Shell by Thomas Radcliffe
Now where did I put it?
We've all been there. We put something important in a good safe place. Safe from mischance like theft, but sadly NOT safe from forgetting where that safe place was.
That's Hector's problem. He took off his shell and left it carefully for a bit of snorkeling in the sea. But when Hector flip-flops his flippers back up to his beach towel, he has a dreadful thought.
HIS PRECIOUS SHELL WAS MISSING!
HE COULD JUST HEAR WHAT HIS PARENTS WOULD SAY.
"WHERE DID YOU HAVE IT LAST?"
"HAVE YOU LOOKED UNDER YOUR BED?"
"WHY CAN'T YOU TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOUR THINGS?"
Hector has heard it all before. He definitely doesn't want to hear it again. Besides, he NEEDS his shell.
He interrogates the other beach goers to find out if they've witnessed suspicious shell-related behavior. They haven't.
The life guard shrugs and points Hector toward the LOST AND FOUND box. No luck.
MAYBE IT WAS LOST FOREVER!
Hector comes up with a desperate plan. If he can't have his own shell, maybe he can find a replacement just as good or better. He starts to collect odd bits of flotsam and jetsam along the shore and try them out for size.
THE RESULTS WERE RATHER UNFORTUNATE!
He tries to squeeze his derriere into a nice shell. Ouch! A hermit crab got there first.
A bent-up tuba? A discordant fit. A diver's helmet? Too stuffy. A knight's helmet? Too noisy. Seaweed? Too slimy. A jet pack? Don't push that red button! This is getting ridiculous.
Then Hector spots the sand castle he had built just before he decided to take a cooling dip in the ocean. Aha!
Hector remembers where his good safe place was, in Thomas Radcliffe's Hector's Shell (Little Bee Books, 2015), a turtle tale that will get forgetful kids chortling and chuckling at the dilemma of a turtle without a shell. Radcliffe's comic, naked little turtle evokes sympathy and giggles, and parents reading this story will appreciate that the inevitable parental prompt, "Where did you have it last?" turns out to be the best solution. But then, if Hector could have remembered where that was, there'd have been no story!