cover image The Book of Turtles

The Book of Turtles

Sy Montgomery and Matt Patterson. Clarion, $19.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-35-845807-4

Montgomery and Patterson astonish with this fact-driven turtle tribute. An intriguing opening remark—“The shell invented the turtle”—leads into discussion of the creatures’ most defining feature: “The shell permits a slow pace—no need to hurry when you’re safe.” Conversational text further invites appreciation for the reptiles’ longevity (the Aldabra giant tortoise can live up to 250 years), talents (some can learn mazes), and communication abilities (leatherback babies call to each other from inside their eggs), while emphasizing individuality (“Turtles, like people, have thoughts and feelings”) and highlighting select “celebrity turtles.” Realistic, almost photographic, acrylic paintings capture diverse turtle species, inspired by “turtles the artist has personally known.” Every page is an authoritative delight in this conservation-minded ode poised to turn anyone into a turtle lover. Resources, glossary, and bibliography conclude. Ages 4–8. (May)