Ocean Commotion: Sea Turtles

Ocean Commotion: Sea Turtles

by Janeen Mason
     
 

The story begins with a turtle hatching on a Florida beach and then follows her odyssey out to sea. Perseverance is the hallmark of this sea turtle, as she conquers every ocean dilemma with quick thinking and hard work. Janeen Mason introduces young readers to the endangered loggerhead sea turtle and offers a glossary, enforcing new vocabulary relevant to the

Overview

The story begins with a turtle hatching on a Florida beach and then follows her odyssey out to sea. Perseverance is the hallmark of this sea turtle, as she conquers every ocean dilemma with quick thinking and hard work. Janeen Mason introduces young readers to the endangered loggerhead sea turtle and offers a glossary, enforcing new vocabulary relevant to the aquatic environment.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
From inside the cover (Don't neglect to read it!) to the last page, this is perhaps the most beautifully illustrated book about loggerhead sea turtles. Crawling up from its sandy nest on a Florida beach, a female hatchling struggles to get to the waves. Then she fights against terrible odds to get out to the Gulf Stream, where, with a lot of luck, she will survive and flourish, only to make her way back to the same beach some twenty-five years later to dig nests and lay eggs. The years between hatching and reproduction are filled with danger from sea birds, crabs and reef fish to the larger fish swimming under the floating sargassum weed in the Gulf Stream. The loggerhead may travel as far as the Azores, Newfoundland and the Straits of Gibraltar, dodging dangers such as sharks or fishing nets, some of which are equipped with TEDS—turtle excluder devices. When she is ready to breed, she finds her way back to the waters off the Florida beach where she hatched. This is a well-researched and illustrated book, however the loggerhead's story has a major problem in that the author chooses to give the loggerhead human motives and thought processes. While this is a tempting way to connect with very young readers, it sends mixed messages. Sorry, but turtles do not consciously think, "never again!" after escaping a fishing net, nor does this female meet a "handsome young male." Neither does she think, after laying her first batches of eggs, "I'll be back." Is this an educational, nonfiction account or a fictional story? The book with its luminous illustrations, has too much going for it to mix the two genres.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Brilliant blue, green, and turquoise tones emphasize the flowing paintings in this biography of a female loggerhead sea turtle. Mason's readable text and sophisticated artwork follow the animal from her hatching to her return to her natal beach to lay her first clutch of eggs. Unfamiliar terms are presented in bold type, with a glossary for definitions. An author's note contains several Web sites for further information, and swirling text on the endpapers provides interesting details for the curious of mind. Some anthropomorphism runs throughout (for example, "Ouch! Someone's flipper poked her-."). Brenda Guiberson's equally handsome Into the Sea (Holt, 1996) is similar in scope; for a look at a hatchling's chances of even reaching the sea, try Stephen Swinburne's attractive Turtle Tide (Boyds Mills, 2005). Despite the human thoughts in a turtle's brain, this eye-catching title on a popular topic is an additional purchase.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Mason follows a loggerhead turtle, hatched in Florida, as she explores the oceans and, after many years, returns to her birthplace to mate and lay her eggs. Vibrantly colored illustrations in blues, aquamarine, pinks and browns emphasize the vastness of the hatchling's environment and the variety of ocean life she encounters. With swirls and skewed perspectives, the illustrations immerse the reader in the marine environment. Words from the appended glossary are bolded in the text. Mason has made use of recent research in presenting her story, but has, perhaps, oversimplified it with her personified example, who exults in reaching the water or escaping from sharks, hopes predator fish won't see her and promises herself never to be trapped by hooks or nets. A better introduction for young readers or listeners is Nicola Davies's One Tiny Turtle (2001). (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781589804340
Publisher:
Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/30/2006
Series:
Ocean Commotion Series
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
868,984
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Janeen Mason's work has appeared in art galleries, on puzzles and clay tiles, and as fine-art prints. She is a member of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the Children's Book Council. She also served as the illustrator coordinator for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators in Florida. An exhibit featuring her illustrations traveled throughout museums in Florida and was even displayed in the Capitol Building in Tallahassee. In addition to speaking at schools, Mason appeared on the PBS program NOVA scienceNOW and remains a popular guest on radio. Her accolades include a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award, the U.S. Maritime Literature Award, and the National Award for Excellence in Communities.

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