And Still the Turtle Watched

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Overview

And Still the Turtle Watched (PB)

A turtle carved in rock on a bluff over the Hudson River by Indians long ago watches with sadness the changes man brings over the years.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Long ago an old Indian carved a turtle in a rock and explained to his grandson that it would be the eye of Manitou the All-Father and would watch over the Delaware people. In thoughtful prose frequently imbued with a poetic tone, MacGill-Callahan chronicles the devastating environmental changes that befall this stone guardian with the passage of time. The turtle sees the ``white water turn to brown''; feels the ``air grow heavy'' and hears ``strange growling noises still the song of birds'' until one day a group of teenagers blinds and deafens him with spray paint. The text's quiet wisdom is reflected in Moser's exquisite watercolors. Somber, yet infused with light, they eloquently capture brief moments, from the still beauty of unspoiled countryside long ago to the jarring harshness of young hooligans. This striking, moving picture book carefully avoids didacticism as it treats the serious theme of pollution. The reader is invited to open his or her own eyes and ears to nature--and, most importantly, to have faith. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-- This story begins long ago when a Grandfather carves a turtle from a rock to be the eyes of Manitou. The turtle watches as his people, the Delaware, prosper and grow. He watches new people arrive, people who change the earth, eventually polluting the water, the air, even the stone upon which the turtle rests. The turtle becomes blinded and forgotten until an anthropologist recognizes him under the graffiti and places him in the New York Botanical Garden where children once again hear him. The narrative voice is reserved and contemplative, which enhances the Native American flavor of the story, but underplays the drama of the events. Moser's watercolor illustrations provide much of the drama the text lacks. His portraits of the old man carving the stone or the teenagers spray-painting the rock convey an immediacy and provide a visual connection with the people and their time. Unfortunately, the stone turtle's story, fabricated from fact, myth, and vision, is weighed down by its obvious message. And as wonderful as the message is, it's likely to appeal only to concerned adults who use it to teach children to respect the environment and the Native American people. --Karen K. Radtke, Milwaukee Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140558364
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 659,063
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.06 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Sheila MacGill-Gallahan is the award-winning author of many Dial books, including And Still the Turtle Watched, illustrated by Barry Moser, and The Children of Lir, illustrated by Gennady Spirin. She lives in Far Rockaway, New York. copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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