Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories


Book Information

Random House 1958
  • Character-Building Curriculum
  • Social Studies Curriculum

Yertle the Turtle is the king of all the land that he can see.   One day he realizes if he just climbs higher he'll be able to rule over even more land and more turtles.  So, he has his turtle subjects climb onto each other's backs and build an enormous tower.  Yertle on the top of the tower can now reign supreme over even more territory with no regard or care for those who are supporting him...literally.

This tyrant is harming his own until:

"But, as Yertle, the Turtle King, lifted his hand And started to order and give the command, That plain little turtle below in the stack, That plain little turtle whose name was just Mack, Decided he’d taken enough. And he had. And that plain little lad got a bit mad. And that plain little Mack did a plain little thing. He burped! And his burp shook the throne of the king!

And Yertle the Turtle, the king of the trees, The king of the air and the birds and the bees, The king of a house and a cow and a mule… Well, that was the end of the Turtle King’s rule! For Yertle, the King of all Sala-ma-Sond, Fell off his high throne and fell Plunk! in the pond!

And today the great Yertle, that Marvelous he, Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see. And the turtles, of course… all the turtles are free As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be."

Two other fables follow this classic tale:  Gertrude McFuzz and The Big Brag.

96 pages       978-0394800875      Ages 5-9

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


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