Albert Upside Down


Albert has a predicament. The last thing he  remembers before realising his world is upside down, is reaching for a particularly ‘tasty treat‘. Now Albert is flat on his back/ shell/ carapace. He’s not walking, for his legs are ‘waving in the air‘. It seems Albert is stuck. What’s more, the people of the house are ‘nowhere to be found’.

A ‘passing worm’ tells Albert that he is part of ‘the best garden workers’ team around. Thereafter, the team gathers to begin their ‘mission‘- to ‘get Albert back on his feet’. Yet might that be harder than it seems.  After all these are insects, although word of the problem spreads ‘far and wide, even reaching the compost heap’.

What sort of pushing, stretching, shoving and pulling will be necessary to get Albert on his feet? Could it be the lure of food, or maybe just the extra touch of something seemingly inconsequential?

Bookwagon loves the story, humour, dilemma and purpose. Furthermore, Ian Brown adds information about tortoise owning, about which he know, to complete his wonderful tortoise tale. What’s more the pictures are glorious. We languish in the depths of the mini beasts, realising the wonder and secrets hidden within. It’s like we’ve our own ‘spy vision’!

Bookwagon recommends Albert Upside Down highly to our readers for sharing at bedtime, enjoying again and again, or reading together in school.

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Albert Upside Down

Ian Brown and Eoin Clarke


The garden looks different for Albert Upside Down. Thereafter, the tortoise struggles to recall how he ended up in this precarious position. Could it be something to do with overreaching himself toward a ‘tasty treat’? Albert is aware he’s stuck. It seems that stretching ‘out his neck‘ and pushing ‘his head down against the ground, trying to roll over’ doesn’t work. Therefore, what is he to do? Waving his legs in the air doesn’t help.
Could ‘a passing worm‘ help Albert? After all the people of the house are ‘nowhere to be seen‘. Some ‘garden workers’ offer help. Ants, spiders, bees, worms prepare to team up to get Albert on his feet. Could shoving, pushing, pulling and rolling do the job? Or what other strategies might be necessary? It seems that a butterfly has suggestions. What’s more there’s a ‘young worm’ daring to speak up. Rather like A Way With Wild Things, readers are invited to a worm’s eye view of a world about which we forget. Therefore we realise the enormity of the distance from the ‘mission‘ to the ‘compost heap’!
Ian Brown employs his knowledge of How to Care for a Tortoise with flair, drama and humour in this beautiful picture book. Furthermore, Eoin Clarke’s pictures are warm and inclusive. We feel as though we are part of the scene with the small workers, all on a ‘mission’ to help. It means that Albert Upside Down is a picture book we love and recommend highly to our readers.


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