Lucy, is a shy little girl who loves to help out at her grandpa’s pet shop. A multitude of different animals – “puppies and rabbits and kittens that hopped, gerbils and budgies and snakes that bopped!” – demonstrates very early on that this is by no means your average pet shop.
However, Lucy’s favourite animals in the pet shop are the titular Toby and Tabitha, two small tortoises who seemingly do nothing but sleep. Lucy’s grandpa is confused by her fondness for them, going to far as to comment that “There’s more life in my old socks,” but only Lucy knows their secret – that after dark, when the shop is sleepy, Toby and Tabitha wake up and dance.
“With a tappity-tap and a rat-a-tat-tat, bet you’ve NEVER seen tortoises quite like that!” she tells us. Toby and Tabitha do all sorts of dances, and brighten up the shop as they do so, but one day, Lucy arrives at the shop as usual to discover that Tabitha has been sold…
Genre: Children’s Picture Book Rights: Walker Books
Author: Alexander Bar
Illustrator: Emma Proctor