cover image And Still the Turtle Watched

And Still the Turtle Watched

Sheila Macgill-Callahan, Shelia Macgill-Callahan. Dial Books, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0931-7

Long ago an old Indian carved a turtle in a rock and explained to his grandson that it would be the eye of Manitou the All-Father and would watch over the Delaware people. In thoughtful prose frequently imbued with a poetic tone, MacGill-Callahan chronicles the devastating environmental changes that befall this stone guardian with the passage of time. The turtle sees the ``white water turn to brown''; feels the ``air grow heavy'' and hears ``strange growling noises still the song of birds'' until one day a group of teenagers blinds and deafens him with spray paint. The text's quiet wisdom is reflected in Moser's exquisite watercolors. Somber, yet infused with light, they eloquently capture brief moments, from the still beauty of unspoiled countryside long ago to the jarring harshness of young hooligans. This striking, moving picture book carefully avoids didacticism as it treats the serious theme of pollution. The reader is invited to open his or her own eyes and ears to nature--and, most importantly, to have faith. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)