4 out of 4 stars
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The late Maya Angelou wrote, "Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him." As a homeschooling mother of five, I am always on the lookout for good quality, well-written children’s books.
Turtles on a Log is an utterly charming children’s storybook from the pen of Lynnie Pea. The story centers on a group of mammalian, reptilian, aquatic, and avian friends gathered at a lake. They are excited to make a new friend in Baby Zake, a young turtle. The book ends with the suggestion that more stories are on the way about the adventures of this happy group of friends.
The story is told in a whimsical sing-song rhythm. There are frequent repetitions of specific phrases in the time-honored tradition of beloved children’s songs such as “A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea,” “Over in the Meadow,” and “I Know an Old Woman.” This repetition makes it an ideal storybook for very young children as it provides the reader with the opportunity to make the story interactive by asking the child, “Where is the snake? Can you find the turtle? Which one is the heron?” Young children love such interaction during story time and it has the added benefit of helping them learn different kinds of creatures.
Full-color illustrations cover every page, providing a cheerful accompaniment to the narrative. One point that I particularly appreciated was that the background color behind the words was lighter, making it easier to read. This may seem like a small matter, but that attention to detail contributes to making this a very well-written, easy-to-read picture book. There were some editing issues, but these had to do almost entirely with missing commas and one (possible) missing word. The words themselves were all spelled correctly. There was nothing in the story itself that I disliked.
Award-winning children’s author, Emilie Buchwald, once observed, “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading to his or her child or grandchild. The words might be a bit too advanced for beginning readers, but it is perfect for reading to young children. While the book could stand an additional round of editing to bring it to perfection, there weren’t enough errors to warrant subtracting a star from the book’s rating. The musical rhythm and flow of the words, the visual appeal, and the winsome storyline all earn Turtles on a Log four out of four stars.
Turtles on a Log
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