Turtle Walk

turtle walk

Need a lift?  Maybe you are lucky enough to work with young children and you'll get to introduce an early reader to the fun waiting here.  Maybe you just need to pick up something that is simple, delightful, and joyful...because you need to see and experience something that is simple, delightful and joyful.  (I think Matt Phelan knew we needed this right now.)

So gather up some simple sight words, about 16 of them, and set a turtle family loose in their natural world on a trek through the changing of the seasons.  They are headed out.  Going somewhere slowly as a turtle family can.  Where are they going?  What IS going to happen to them?

Gentle happy green turtles all lined up and making their way in the world just as nature intended them to do.  How reassuring!  Through the rain, past the swing set, beyond the warm colors of a tree in the fall sunshine. And then...

This is an adventure.  This is joy waiting to explode off the page!

For our beginning readers this is treasure.  When they get to the end of the story,  they'll want to go on the journey one more time....one more time... one more time.

32 pages                  978-0062934130                      Ages 3-7

Keywords:  turtles, beginning reader, nature, seasons, fun, 3 year old, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com


Turtle walk. Nice and slow. Here we go!

Explore all four seasons with this charming—and patient!—turtle family. Award-winning author-artist Matt Phelan guides the youngest readers from the first blooms of spring and the scorching sun of summer to the crisp leaves of fall and fat snowflakes of winter. Fans of Anna Dewdney and Tad Hills will want to go on this journey again and again.

Spring blooms, and a turtle family is on the move. Slow and steady, they travel up, up, up, the gentle hill through all four seasons. Where are they going? To the top of the sledding hill, of course! But how will they get back down the hill to a well-deserved winter’s rest?

Matt Phelan’s simple, rhythmic text is filled with repetition that shines in read-alouds, and his soft, colorful watercolor artwork bring the seasons to vivid life. The joyful journey and gentle, rewarding surprise make Turtle Walk a timeless choice for every home and classroom.---from the publisher


“A loggerhead sea turtle tracked by satellite ended up in the Northern African country of Tunisia following a nearly-300 day journey across the Mediterranean starting in Turkey, over 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) away, Turkish scientists found.”

-- Hurriyet Daily News (6/13/21)

“Your friend is heavy

But he was ready

And never stopped for a while

While you were sleeping

He kept on keeping

The final line in his mind”

-- John Lodge, “The Tortoise and the Hare” (1970)

TURTLE WALK features a family foursome of turtles who keep that final line in their minds.

“Turtle walk. Nice and slow.

Here we go.

Are we there yet?


This simple rhyme repeats as endearing watercolor and pencil illustrations depict the turtles steadily lumbering through the seasons: Spring flowers and showers, robins and bunnies. Sunflowers, praying mantises, kids swinging and blowing bubbles. Lightning bugs. Trees changing colors, apple picking, squirrels gathering acorns, and jack-o-lanterns.

Finally, the turtles come face-to-face with the snow.

This time, the question, “Are we there yet?” is met with a resounding “YES,” as the turtles momentarily survey the glittering landscape before tucking in their legs and employing their shells as toboggans. The stoicism of the journey is replaced by wide eyes and grins as they jet down the slopes.

Cowabunga! (As a previous generation of turtle aficionados would exclaim.)

The journey concludes as the quartet locate a cave in which to curl up for a nice, long rest.

The threes- and fours- will get a kick out of the story, and will subsequently pore over the details of the seasonal illustrations when provided a post-storytime opportunity,

Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, California USA

See more of Richie's Picks https://richiespicks.pbworks.com



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