Mothers have important jobs, fathers have important jobs and so does the lowly turtle. This book follows a female box turtle through a night and a day, climaxing with her laying four eggs. And who could not comprehend the importance of laying eggs as "smooth and as white as the full moon overhead?" The turtle's journey introduces the young reader not only to facts about turtles but also neighboring wildlife, woodland and garden vegetation, and predators. It will come as no surprise that the one of the turtle's most formidable enemies is the ubiquitous automobile. The paintings illustrating the book are virtually palpable. The ripe strawberry would be irresistible to human or beast; the exertion it takes to lay her eggs is evident in a close-up of the turtle's eyes. Skillful use of color makes the reader feel as if he too has lived through the cycle of day and night. Back matter expands upon material presented in the text and includes a glossary and points of interest in the book. This is a "Smithsonian's Backyard" series publication. 2000, Soundprints, $15.95 and $4.95. Ages 4 to 10. Reviewer: Stephanie Farrow
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-A day in the life of a female box turtle includes searching for food, withstanding threats from a raccoon and a car, and laying her eggs. Attractive oil paintings effectively portray her environment with a dark palette of greens, blues, and browns. The author is careful to avoid personification in this snapshot of one turtle. The book is similar to William T. George's highly acclaimed Box Turtle at Long Pond (Greenwillow, 1989). It follows a day in the life of a male box turtle and is accompanied by exquisite gouache paintings. It edges out Korman's book in preciseness of language and detail in illustration, but both are worthy purchases and would work well together for comparisons of male and female box turtles as well as the styles of authors and illustrators.-Ellen Heath, Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.