Turtle Walk

HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Oct. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062934130.
PreS-Gr 2–Phelan places the walk of a family of turtles at the center of this picture book, which becomes a journey through the seasons. This small bale, or family of turtles, contains two large ones and two smaller ones. The turtles have a few mostly repetitive sentences for every walk: “Turtle walk, here we go. Are we there yet? No.” Preschoolers will snuggle in close and soon learn to “read” the lines. And then, as a snowy slope appears, “Are we there yet?” brings a much different answer, with sledding and a quiet scene of winter hibernation to follow. The loose, glowing watercolor provide direction and a clear color story that ties the story together, as bits of orange on one page become more prominent on the next as the story moves into, for example, autumn. The transitions connect colors, seasons, and story to nudge young readers to identify seasonal elements. This book has so much to offer for readers, from the simple story that could be sung, to the exploration of seasons, to the repetition of text to engage budding readers.
VERDICT An excellent example of simple storytelling matched with inky watercolor drawings to create a story of family, and a story of seasons. This is a perfect book, and an instant classic for story hours.

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