Turtle Spring

Overview

Clee is none too happy over the birth of her brother but Uncle Hal surprises her with a turtle who's jumped tank one time too many. When the turtle disappears during a particularly harsh winter, Clee fears the worst. A sensitive tale about the long sleep of winter and the rebirth that comes with spring. • An ABA "Pick of the Lists" book.

The changing seasons bring surprises to Clee, including a new baby brother early in the year ...

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Overview

Clee is none too happy over the birth of her brother but Uncle Hal surprises her with a turtle who's jumped tank one time too many. When the turtle disappears during a particularly harsh winter, Clee fears the worst. A sensitive tale about the long sleep of winter and the rebirth that comes with spring. • An ABA "Pick of the Lists" book.

The changing seasons bring surprises to Clee, including a new baby brother early in the year and a turtle whose life seems to crawl away in the winter.

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Editorial Reviews

Patricia Monaco
This book is a delightful way to bring home to young readers or listeners a message of love, caring, and hope.
Napra Review
Children's Literature - Wendy Pollock-Gilson
The change of the seasons brings Clee a baby brother and a pet turtle. Another change is her father's new job away from home. The baby grows and the turtle hibernates under the compost heap throughout the long winter. With spring comes a letter that her father is returning, and the turtle climbs out to Clee and her brother in the sandbox. This is a lovely picture book with watercolor illustrations, set in the southeastern United States.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3--A young girl learns much about the natural world through her experiences over the course of an eventful year. When summer brings a baby brother and a turtle, Clee is more eager to welcome the pet than the sibling. A gift from her uncle, it helps her adjust to the idea of the baby and to the job offer that takes her father far from home. As the months pass and summer turns to autumn, Clee enjoys spending time outdoors with the turtle. After she leaves it outside on a cold autumn evening and thinks it is dead, she buries it deep in the family's backyard compost heap and tries to put aside her memories and guilt. Throughout the winter, the child watches the snow pile up outside her home and the baby learns to roll, sit up, and crawl. With the arrival of spring, as Clee plays with her brother in their sandbox, they spy the awakening turtle emerge from his winter nap. Turtle Spring is a lovely introduction to the concept of hibernation and a gentle look at the bonds that grow between siblings. The lyrical text is perfect for reading aloud and abounds with imagery. The illustrations, reminiscent of Jane Dyer's watercolor hues, beautifully reflect the changing seasons. An author's note gives brief information about Clee's turtle (a Red-eared Slider), the process of hibernation, and composting.--Maura Bresnahan, Topsfield Town Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Klee feels like a lost moon as crowds of relatives orbit around her new brother's crib. But one relative, Uncle Fishtank Hal, understands how she feels. He brings her a present, a Red-eared Slider turtle. "She ain't a gift for a baby," he says. "She's too big and would only pinch it." The turtle becomes Klee's anchor when her father takes off for an extended job away from home, leaving her mother preoccupied with the baby and house. But when cold weather comes, the turtle makes an escape, and Klee finds it in the compost heap, stone cold, its head and feet pulled into its shell. Assuming it is dead, she sadly buries it deep in the pile and retreats to the house, and through a long snowy winter gradually warms to her little brother. In the spring, both children are surprised and delighted when the turtle emerges alive and well from the steaming compost pile. This lovely, unusual book elicits interest on many levels. The lyrical text compactly weaves human emotions, the cycle of the seasons, and the phenomenon of hibernation into a coherent whole. Fluid watercolor illustrations in glowing jewel tones ably capture both changing seasons and changing moods. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582460529
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

DEBORAH TURNEY ZAGWŸN is the creator of Apple Batter, The Pumpkin Blanket, Turtle Spring, and The Winter Gift. She makes her home in British Columbia, not too far from Vancouver, with her husband, two children, and a host of lazy animals.
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