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The Foolish Tortoise

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,440 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
The Foolish Tortoise sheds his shell after deciding that he needs to move through the world more quickly. But, after a few scary encounters, he rediscovers the value of going slow and safe. Full-color illustrations.
Board Book, 24 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Little Simon (first published 1985)
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This 1985 book is being released as a lap-size board book. THE FOOLISH TORTOISE follows a unhappy tortoise as he makes his decision to take off his shell so he can be faster. He longs to run like the horses and dogs that he sees, but once he gets out and about without his shell, he realizes how dangerous the world can be. He sees snakes and birds that will be able to eat him. The sun makes him hot and the rain makes him wet. Finally, after the wind makes him cold, he decides that he is ready to ...more
Clairissa D
This book is about a turtle this dislikes his shell so he decides to take it off. After he takes off his shell he is encountered by many dangerous situations, some animals try to eat him,The sun is too hot for him to bare,and then it gradually becomes cold as it begins to get dark.After going through these things he decides that it is better to be in his shell rather than outside of it. I would use this text to discuss rhyming words with my students.
Alicia Scully
Apr 24, 2012 Alicia Scully rated it really liked it
This book documents the story of a tortoise that wants to go out into the world and explore without his shell. He removes his shell and thus runs into multiple problems and adventures. This book is illustrated by Eric Carle and he brings his personality into the book in a way that readers will enjoy. I thought it was a beautiful book visually, but I wasn't quite sure what the message of the book was supposed to be and I found that disappointing.
Inna Nako
Grade K-1, Characteristics and basic needs of animals, Shelter of animal (specifically turtles)

-book about the tortoise trying to be like other animals
-at end, the best way to go is to be yourself, be unique
-can be incorporated in a lesson about tortoises (especially about their shells, since that is mostly what the story is about), many children might not even know what a tortoise is, so new vocabulary will also be introduced
Alexa Maring
This was not may favorite book due to the slightly pessimistic attitude the tortoise had throughout the story, but I still enjoyed the pictures illustrated by Eric Carle using his signature layering style. This book can be used as a picture walk book. Students can predict what the sequence and events will be in the story. They can also use the illustrations to infer the attitude or emotion of the turtle throughout the story.
Whitney Strickland
Apr 07, 2011 Whitney Strickland rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rhyming, nap-time
This is probably one of my favorite books. It is about a tortoise that wants to be faster so he removes his shells and sets out for the day. Not having his shell made him a little faster but it was much scarier being without it. This story has a nice message and the illustrations by Eric Carle are fantastic. The flow of the story is great because it rhymes and children love to hear it read aloud.
Apr 21, 2012 Luana rated it liked it
This book is great for students in Pre-K to 3rd grade. I think that this book can be used to teach students the importance of the shell of some animals. Why do you think turtles live in shells? I would use this book in the engage portion of a 5E lesson plan and ask students questions such as the one asked above. Eric Carle illustrates the potential danger that the turtle could get into without his shell.
Apr 04, 2010 Rob rated it it was ok
Shelves: with-holden
I'm iffy on the message here. On the one hand, this is clearly a book that's saying: "Hey the grass is always greener until you're standing on it..." (Which is a fine message.) And on the other hand, they also seem to be saying "Don't bother trying to change or take risks because you'll only fail and be disappointed." And I can't really get behind that. Plus, the rhyme scheme isn't even that good.
April Castle
Apr 19, 2011 April Castle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
The asventure of the tortoise without his shell. He thought he would be faster and better, but he found out he missed his shell and protection. The theme is you don't realize everything you have got until you try out all the wrong things. Be proud of who you are, because everybody is unique and special in there own ways. Great book for students and to teach them the theme.
Cassandra Roach
Jul 16, 2009 Cassandra Roach rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-for-kids
This is one of the newest books that I bought for my 1 year old son. Even though there are more words to this book than some of his other books, he listed to each page and really enjoys reading this story. The pictures are nice and colorful and the story is good. I am sure that this will be worked into our nighttime story rotation soon with his other favorites!
Katie Williams
A story about a tortoise who wants to be more than who he is, but realizes he can be no one else but himself. A cute story to read to kids when discussing the importance of being yourself and respecting others. It's also written in a rhyming scheme, so it will be somewhat easy for beginning readers. A good collection for the classroom library.
Sep 25, 2011 Brittney rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book, poetry
"The Foolish Tortoise" is a cute rhythmic book about a tortoise who wants to move faster. The Tortoise takes off his shell, but soon finds out he has no protection. He realizes what he has done is wrong. I would use this book to help teach my students not to be foolish. I hope it would show them not to take things for granite.
Jan 23, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it
Animals, Eric Carle, being content, different houses.

The tortoise is tired of being slowed down because of his shell. When he is able to shed his shell, he realizes that maybe have a shell was safer and warmer. After spending the entire day without his home, he returns to it, happily content and ready for bed.
Kathryn Joyce
Apr 04, 2012 Kathryn Joyce rated it it was amazing
Shelves: encouragment, home
This books shows how sometimes people, or a tortoise, doesn't realize what they have until it is gone. It would be a great book to teach loving yourself and encouragement. The book explains the journey a tortoise has when he decides to let go of his shell. I think students could make text to self connections with it.
Shelly Koressel
This poor little turtle takes off his shell to try to get through life a little faster. Then he realizes that he would be better off, taking it slow and being who he is. Good book about teaching children to make wise choices and to be happy with who you are. Good for 1st grade down to preschool age.
Mar 25, 2011 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children and adults of all ages
Shelves: childrens
Eric Carle's illustrations can't be beat, and my 2 year old grandson loved this tale of a tortoise who decides he doesn't want to be constricted by his shell, and wants to run free and fast like other animals. Through a series of misadventures, he learns that being true to oneself is best.
Oh, foolish turtle. Eric Carle offers an important lesson to be happy with what you have. The story also offers readers the opportunity to learn about being thankful. When stepping out into the unknow (which is okay), you can't forget the things that also keep you safe. There's a difference.
Heather Summers
Feb 04, 2011 Heather Summers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rhyming, morals
I give this book 4 stars mostly because i love Eric Carle illustrations. But this book is also great for teaching patience. There is a moral to the story as well about what i perceive to be good things come to those who wait. There is also a good bit of rhyming in the text.
Apr 20, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
This book is about self image. The tortoise is unhappy with himself at first, but then appriciates himself for who he is. This is a good book to share with children and you can talk about why we are made the way we are. You can also look at positive ways to identify yourself.
Brittany Lockard
In this book a turtle takes off his shell so that he can speed through life like the other animals but soon realizes that he was better off in his shell. Good book for showing self love and acceptance of who we are and not trying to change to be like other people.
Alycia Boyce
This is a cute book about a tortoise who didn't want his shell, but experienced life without his shell and found it worse than having it. This book is great for teaching lessons about being grateful for what you have and a nice book for pointing out rhyming.
Kara Duncan
Oct 03, 2015 Kara Duncan added it
Shelves: picture
I would definitely use this book to teach a life lesson to my kindergarten or first grade class. The moral of this book is to accept yourself for the way you were born. The foolish tortoise wanted to be faster so he thought removing his shell would help him accomplish this daunting task. Unfortunately, the tortoise had no protection and was scared of everything. He hid from everything in fear of getting hurt. At the end of the book the tortoise decided the only way to be protected was to crawl b ...more
Apr 11, 2016 Caryn rated it it was ok
The Foolish Tortoise introduces us to a character, the tortoise, feels confined by its own physical limitations, and decides to try and break free of its own character. Without its shell, this tortoise can move twice as fast as usual. A very freeing thought. The tortoise realizes that without its shell, it has no protection from some very real dangers in the world. The tortoise has to realize its own unique self, once thought to be a limitation is actually a strength, and the tortoise is designe ...more
Shelby Moser
Oct 03, 2013 Shelby Moser rated it really liked it
Shelves: eng-261
The Foolish Tortoise is about a turtle that dislike his shell, and therefore he leaves it behind. After leaving his shell he experiences many dangers, in which he had not experienced before. Animals attempt to eat him without his shell for protection, and the sun is very hot, and e also become very cold. He eventually goes back to his shell.
The theme of the story is the idea that although you may not like the way you are protected, it is necessary. The story encourages children not to take littl
Jan 30, 2016 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Gotta love any book with Eric Carle illustrations!
Great story about a tortoise who thinks his shell is slowing him down so he ditches it to go exploring. He ends up discovering that he does need his shell and that he was prefect the way he was. Great message for kids. Read to my second graders for my MLIS class.
Sep 04, 2014 R rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The foolish tortoise dreamed of making himself better, so he cast off his burdens and went out to see the world. The world was a big scary place that made him regret following his dreams, so he crawled back into his shell in defeat, curled up, and went to sleep. The end.
This tortoise thinks he's too slow so he takes off his shell. He encounters some pretty scary stuff and decides that he likes his shell after all. Like the tortoise, don't be foolish, God made you the way he made you for a reason.
Kerri Harshaw
Another wonderful picture book illustrated by Eric Carle. The vivid, bright colors throughout the story allow the animals to pop right off the page! The author, Richard Buckley, provides a great rhyming text from ‘slow’ and ‘go’ to ‘went’ and ‘accident’. The Foolish Tortoise sends a great message about accepting who you are, because everything you are made up of is there for a reason. The book also allows for many great science activities. Just like the tortoise, all animals in the world are mad ...more
Patsy Parker
May 21, 2016 Patsy Parker rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with children
Shelves: preschool-books
I had never read this book before I decided to order a copy of it. I am delighted with the story, but mostly I wanted it because I love Eric Carle's artwork and I especially love and collect turtle stuff of all kinds.
Karen Dransfield
Apr 13, 2015 Karen Dransfield rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
A lovely story about a tortoise who learns that being who you are is sometimes the best way to live. And to try being someone, or something else might not feel right or be the best thing for you. Lovely artwork by Eric Carle.
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Richard Buckley is a freelance writer and editor as well as being a chartered accountant.

In addition to his poetry he has written short stories, children's books, and on business and professional subjects.

He worked in New York for five years and has also travelled in North and South America, Central Asia and Europe.

At the time of writing 'The Dutiful Penguin' he was living in Gloucestershire, marr
More about Richard Buckley...

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