Old Turtle

Old Turtle

4.3 13
by Douglas Wood, Cheng-Khee Chee, Cheng-Khee Chee

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This enchanting book for children and adults, promotes a deeper understanding of the earth and our relationship with all the beings who inhabit it. The Old Turrtle.


This enchanting book for children and adults, promotes a deeper understanding of the earth and our relationship with all the beings who inhabit it. The Old Turrtle.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Long ago, an argument arose between mountains and rivers, stars and ants, lions and bears on the nature of God. A terrible cacophony of quarreling voices rang out until wise Old Turtle quelled the din, explaining that ``God is all that we dream of, and all that we seek. . .all that we come from and all that we can find.'' But soon disagreement was heard again as the world's people raised voice and fist against each other, harming the natural order. Illustrated in exquisite watercolors, this eloquent plea for unity and understanding between people and nature is both frank and understated. Chee captures the mysterious beauty of the world in pastels imbued with quiet energy, complementing the lilting cadence of the poetic text. Certainly both author and artist have combined rare talents to produce an enchanting book, yet one that is barely accessible to a child. Difficult ideas, painterly art and sophisticated language make this a book primarily for adults. All ages. (Dec.)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
This lyrical, haunting book tackles a complex subject - who is God, and what is man's place on earth? According to the author, people are "a message of love from God to the earth and a prayer from the earth back to God." It is a gentle cautionary tale about our place in the world and the responsibilities that entails. The watercolors are evocative and powerful, the style clearly influenced by the illustrator's Asian heritage. The description of God as "all that we dream of, and all that we seek" can serve as a springboard for discussion within families from any religious background. American Booksellers Book of the Year Award, Best Children's Book -Midwest Independent Publishers Association, and International Reading Association Children's Book Award.
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
This is an inspiring look at God's presence and attributes. A very long time ago, when all the animals, the mountains, sky, trees, and waters could talk to each other, an argument began over God. Old Turtle stopped the argument, and told the Earth that a new creature was about to come into the picture-people. People came, and for a while everything was fine, but soon they forgot about caring for the Earth and for each other, and the Earth began to die. Suddenly a voice (sounding suspiciously like Old Turtle's) sounded-"Please stop!" And the destruction did stop. The Earth once again lived in harmony and balance. "And Old Turtle smiled... and so did God." A touching book.
School Library Journal
PreS Up-- In a mythic time when all living things could speak and understand each other, an argument begins over the nature of God. Each creature attributes its own ideal of excellence to the deity, but when the discussion grows too loud, all are silenced by Old Turtle. He says that God is all those things and more, referring to the coming of those made in His image, people. But these new creatures also argue about God, and kill and abuse each other and the Earth until the very stones cry out. At last the people hear Earth's message of beauty and love--``And Old Turtle smiled. And so did God.'' The pictures illustrating this poetic work are spectacular. Soft, liquid watercolors are used to show the beauty of the natural world; rocks and waterfalls, mountains, seas, and flowering hills form a backdrop for everyone. Environmentally conscious, gender-balanced (references to God include ``She''), and spiritual in mood, this is a New Age fable; its message of saving the Earth is told in lyrical prose and in pictures that delight the eye.-- Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.34(w) x 10.32(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Music, books, and nature are three prominent themes in Wood’s life. Though he started as a poor reader in elementary school, his second grade teacher, Miss Little, instilled in him a life-long love of books and reading. Raised in a family of musicians, Doug grew up playing violin and piano. In teaching himself to play guitar and banjo, and write songs, he found his own personal form of musical expression.
One of the North Country’s most experienced wilderness experts, Douglas Wood makes his home by the Mississippi River in rural Minnesota.

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Old Turtle 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book! As a person raised Catholic but now consider myself non-denominational, this is the type of book I was looking for to read to my children so that they can have a better understanding of what 'God' is and how all living things are inter-connected. An excellent book for both young & old. A++++++++++
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is very gently told and very true. I first listened to it on a CD recorded by Marlo Thomas and the Turtle Creek Chorale entitled 'Songs of Wisdom from Old Turtle'. The piece magically portrays the story with beautiful, exciting, inventive music. My 5-year old niece was entranced. I highly recommend both the book and the choral story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this for my children and wept upon reading it. The book's message of God, love, and hope transcend time and culture. The author coveys these truths in such a simple, beautiful and poignant way...It is a story I will never forget and read to my children often. This is a must read for every human being.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a must-have for children AND adults. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is great!! Everyone should read this message of peace .........
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book. It touched my heart from the first time I read it to my niece and nephews, and truly inspires a sense of Spirit, truth and peace. I've bought many copies to share.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book to grades K through 8 and it is timeless. It's message is one that needs to be heard over and over. I recommend this book all ages.
bookwormwithtoddlers More than 1 year ago
This is a book that can be enjoyed at differently at different age levels.
kevinharvick29 More than 1 year ago
Very good book to read to kids.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite children's (and maybe adult's) book ever. This is such a beautiful message. My kids love it too, we read it often. It conveys everything I want my children to know about God, nature and humanity.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book, that children and adults will enjoy reading. It sends a great message. Surely worth reading!!!