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Written as a mix of fiction and true events from the author’s own life, Bubby’s Puddle Pond: A Tortuga’s Tale of the Desert (Nina Story Books, LLC), written by Carol Hageman and skillfully illustrated by Nathaniel P. Jensen, follows Bubby, a desert tortoise, from the moment a young girl lifts him out of a shoebox and sets him down in his special grassy habitat for the first time. The habitat becomes the site for Bubby’s budding friendships with other desert animals. As these unlikely “pals” learn to work together for the benefit of the group, Bubby realizes how brave he can be.