on 10 June 2002
How do you encourage the very young to care about the survival of vulnerable creatures? Nicola Davies and Jane Chapman do so by telling in words and pictures the fascinating story of one Loggerhead turtle's life. The tale begins in a turtle nursery when she is 'not much bigger than a bottle top' and shows us her journey of thousands of miles through seaweed jungles and turquoise lagoons until she has grown as 'big as a barrow' and ready to lay her eggs. Much is unknown about the years before a turtle returns to the beach on which she was born to have her young- 'she leaves no trace or track for you to follow'. Children like the thought of secrets and the book is honest about all that remains to be discovered about the turtle's journey.
The narrative is told in large, clear print while extra information waves across the page in italic script. The pictures of the creature are most appealing and show how she moves through different environments. Children will particularly like the page showing the baby turtles emerging from their 'squidgy ping- pong' eggs...
A little turtle swims the sea between the weeds. As it grows it swims away from the weeds and goes out into the bigger sea. The turtle searches for food to eat and finds plenty. In the winter she moves to tortoise lagoons, which are warm. She returns back to the beach she started on. She is much bigger and lays some eggs in the sand, which turn into baby turtles. But birds are looking out for food and take all the turtles but one. This one like her mother will one day return back to the beach to do the same. A very factual book.
Early Years Teachers - This book proved to be an invaluable resource on my teaching placements. This is a great book with a good story line, part of a lovely collection. It is so versatile and can be enjoyed by many ages. It is really easy to engage with as there are so many possible themes in the story which can be explored to a suitable depth dependent on the children's ages.
Themes include: life cycles, eggs and sea life.
- Children can visit a zoo/sea life Centre to see real life turtles and sea life
- Children can make their own story about the turtles journey and draw pictures to match it
- Children can estimate how big the turtle was at the start and then at the end
- Children can look at what comes out of eggs e.g. babies or an egg to eat
- Children can look at what animals eat and why they eat them
- Children can draw a map of where they turtle went to as a group or individually. They could add things such as distance traveled and what she was doing e.g. eating or laying eggs
- Children could draw life-size drawing of the turtle with comparison to the book. They could use a dinner plate and a bottle top to help them with the size.
- In pairs children can act out a day in the life of a turtle, choosing a stage that particularly interests them,
e.g. hatching and scurrying to the sea to avoid predators, searching for food in the ocean depths, or returning to the
beach of their birth. They can then write a first-person account of their experience.
- Using paint or coloured inks, children can illustrate the habitat of the turtle, including beach, ocean depths and the sky where predators lurk. They can include rich visual details of the turtle’s world, researching further information on
the internet or from books.
Would recommend to any early years teacher or parent.
Such a fantastic series, I love these, and the illustrations are stunning as well.
It's an ideal way to introduce 3-6 year olds to natural history, through the story of one small animal, here a turtle. We watch the baby growing in the nurseries of the ocean, to one day lay her own eggs on a beach, then see one of those survive the seagulls to reach the sea, then follow it as it begins its babyhood and continue the cycle.
Colourful and hard to resist, my son was glued to it. I read the basic story, though for older readers and those with a thirst for more detail, there is further information on every page, about diet, geography, habits. So it can be read by different audiences on different levels.
You can even use it as a reference book, with a glossary and page numbers to look up certain key topics in Turtle's life.
Jane Chapman always impresses with her wonderful drawing, and Nicola Davies has done lots of these books that bring non-fiction into the accessible reaches of quite young children.