Toletis by Rafa Ruiz – Book Review

Toletis by Rafa Ruiz – Book Review



The trees are disappearing and the adults don’t care. Toletis, his dog Amenophis and friends Claudia and Tutan are on a mission to turn their little valley town, set deep in the mountains, lusciously green again. The odds are stacked against them. Can they succeed …with some very unusual help? A deep appreciation for nature, art, language, music, friendship, family, the passing of time, old age, loneliness, and the importance of sitting still and reflecting on life, pervade this exquisite story. A must read for 7 to 107 year olds.



Toletis is a young boy with an absolute, all encompassing love of nature. He notices the trees are disappearing, some due to a fire, other due to logging and building a road. So, he and his friends, Claudia and Tutan decide to plant their apple pips to grow more trees.

The adults keep putting obstacles in their way, but the find the perfect spot and soon the magic happens. We meet the treenie-weenies, the souls of the lost trees and the determined thrushes too.

This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It shows the love of nature and what we are doing to destroy it… also shows how we could easily repair the damage with love and consideration.

I love the way it shows how we could show our children (and ourselves) a different outlook to life, away from smartphones and TV….just being outside in nature with quiet thoughts and the beauty that surrounds us,  if only you take the time to look. Stunning and perfect for any age.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  and this is my honest, unbiased review

You can buy a copy here





Rafa Ruiz is a journalist and author who has a staunch commitment to culture, art and the environment. He spent 25 years at Spanish newspaper El País and is a partner-founder of the Press Association for Environmental Information (APIA). 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 one of the partner-founders of the Press Association for Environmental Information (APIA).


All social media in Spanish unfortunately:

Twitter: @rafaruiz

his art gallery: @mad_is_mad


TOLETIS : by Rafa Ruiz; Illustrated by Elena Hormiga, Translated from Spanish by Ben Dawlatly – YouTube



Elena Hormiga is an illustrator with a sense of humour. She studied and worked as an engineer and later turned to illustration.


Ben Dawlatly took an MA in Hispanic Studies and Translation Theory at UCL. He translates both technical and literary texts. However, his real calling is in fiction and poetry.


Praise for Toletis


‘A book full of respect for the creativity and open hearts of children… Innocence, freedom and an unspoken sense of safety ooze off the pages… an uplifting, funny and delightful collection of stories ‘ PLAYING BY THE BOOK (UK blog)

‘Our ‘always on’ generation would do themselves a favor by looking out of their own windows and seeing the beauty that Toletis has found.  MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE MONDAY (US blog)


‘I love this book for honouring our thoughtful boys.’ WORLDKITLIT (UK blog)

‘Is an absolute must read for both children and adults… A book that is surely destined to become a classic.’ OUTSIDEINWORLD (UK blog)


‘If you believe that the best hope we have for a safe, peaceful planet is to teach children to love the environment and one another, then I recommend that you read Toletis with the children in your life.’ GREENWORLD (GREENPEACE MAGAZINE)




Toletis: For Ages Seven to 107 | Green World


Toletis Review (Rafa Ruiz) (Book) » Inspire Create Educate



Sadly these teacher videos are in Spanish but the book has been used to teach creative writing in many schools in Spain.


Toletis visto por la superclase – YouTube


figuras literarias en Toletis 1 on Vimeo


Toletis is a positive role model for boys

Toletis is a quiet, sensitive and caring boy who isn’t afraid to show his emotions. His character is a perfect antidote to the expectations of a “typical” boy: loud, boisterous and destructive. This is definitely a book for parents who reject the saying “boys will be boys”.


The ‘big’ real life stuff

One of the things I love most about Toletis is that it touches on big real life events such as the death of a family member in a wholesome and loving way. Sad events in the book are neither taboo nor overly sad; they are expertly touched upon in a way that is both matter-of-fact and empathetic.


Toletis encourages a love of nature

It’s easy to be drawn in by the immersive storytelling and beautiful illustrations. Toletis spends much of the book exploring the hills and valleys around his home, foraging, planting trees and doing all of the things every child should. The book gives just enough detail – the smells, the sounds of the hills are so clear you’re almost there yourself.

Toletis has a good sense of justice

Toletis has a good sense of justice. When trees are cut down to put a wide road through the town, he hatches a plan to stop it. He knows what is wrong in the world and isn’t afraid to step up and change it. 





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