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Old Turtle

4.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,277 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
Wood's celebrated, bestselling fable of ecology and spirituality, reissued in March 2007 with a beautiful new jacket design.

Long ago, the animals, rocks, waters, and trees of the earth began an argument about God. Is He a wind who is never still? Is He a rock that never moves? Is He high above or here among us?

Venerable Old Turtle quitely answered: God is all of these thin
Hardcover, 56 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Scholastic Press (first published October 1st 1991)
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Carolyn Bailey Enchanting!!! The in this message probably won't be accessible to a young really is for young adults and older.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,895)
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Matthew Hunter
Dec 01, 2012 Matthew Hunter rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Adult leftists like me.
Douglas Wood visited our congregation last year. As part of a worship service, he read passages, sang, and played acoustic guitar while Cheng-Khee Chee's artwork cycled through on large screens in the sanctuary. The adult-heavy audience and worship setting were perfect, and absolutely beautiful. The emotionally evocative presentation of the award-winning children's book worked among liberal leaning, mainline Christian churchgoers. But as for the children? Well, let's just say the story and perfo ...more
Valentin Eni
Jan 10, 2015 Valentin Eni rated it did not like it
Exaltare pseudo-mitologico-ecologico-panteisto-religioasă foarte confuză şi stupidă. Ilustrată destul de drăguţ, dealtfel.
Despre animale vorbitoare (şi nu doar animale ci şi apă, pietre, copaci etc.) care îl caută pe dumnezeu bla-bla-bla, despre oameni, mesagerii dragostei lui dumnezeu, care şi-au uitat originea şi predestinarea bla-bla-bla, provocând astfel o catastrofă ecologică bla-bla-bla, despre o bătrână ţestoasă care i-a oprit pe oameni şi care i-a făcut pe aceştia să asculte şi să audă,
Jan 02, 2008 Danica rated it it was amazing
Yes, it is a children's book. I guarantee you will love it, though!
Jul 13, 2010 Elfdart rated it it was amazing
this was a nice book on diversity. i think one of the things people get the most worked up over is spirituality. it’s one of those things that can touch a person more deep than anything else, and everyone’s perspective will differ, even if only minutely. wars have been started over the issue, and all because we’re too pig headed and focused on our own validity. this book starts off with animals and rocks and trees each saying that what they think god is is indeed the true god, and that god seems ...more
June Pecchia
This book just came to me in "Recommendations". I know this book, and it is a treasure to me in its physical form, and in the mood it evokes in my mind even now, years since I've read it.
The illustrations are watery and soft. The text moves slowly and peacefully. Today I need to find it on my shelf, and savor it again.

Read this for yourself, then read it to a child or two or even an entire classroom.
Jillian Dreixler
Oct 05, 2014 Jillian Dreixler rated it really liked it
This is a picture book that goes through different kinds of animals and objects, all of the creation in the world, that talk together and argue about what they believe God is. Old Turtle, quiet and hardly speaks, stopped the argument about God and gave a wise tale that all people and things are connected to God. Old Turtle then explains to all things that humans will come in the future and they too began to argue about God as well. In the end, will all creation finally see the beauty in what God ...more
Sep 23, 2009 Emily rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-board
A bit heavy on MESSAGE for my tastes, but gorgeous watercolor illustrations. Interesting flow to the book with placement of the illustrations and text. Tries to take on two big themes, environmentalism and the nature of God, and it just comes across as both too forced and too fluffy.

For more book reviews, visit my blog, Build Enough Bookshelves.
Ash Platt
Feb 02, 2010 Ash Platt rated it it was amazing
Without fail, every single time I read, 'Old Turtle' I cry. Even after Old Turtle smiles, which, by the way, is my all time favorite illustration. I actually have a colored copy of it up in my room! Don't judge me..
Feb 25, 2015 Sam rated it did not like it
Personal Reaction: I was not very impressed with this book. I had a hard time understanding what message the book was trying to send and I couldn't picture children sitting still to read or listen to this book.

This is an unusual book about a wise old turtle and the origin and power of God. It would not be appropriate to present this book to children out of context or by itself. It could be used in a study of religions and it could be discussed thoroughly. There is a lot to interpret in the stor
Apr 01, 2013 Katie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my all time favorite Children's Picture Books. Do not discount this book as a child only speaks volume to all who will, love, love this book!
Jun 18, 2016 Kaleria rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful and beautifully illustrated book about different perspectives of god and where one can notice god. It is very broad in the definition of god it uses, but remains monotheistic in it's approach. It can be a powerful book when opening discussions of spirituality, tolerance, humanity, and god among older children. I feel it is best used in a mini-lesson or interactive read aloud, because it is slow in it's beautiful poetic lines, and children will likely need help making connecti ...more
Sep 15, 2015 Temereani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose to read this book because I love turtles so if there is a book with them I will read it.

This fits into my bingo board under the category ‘A picture book’

What I liked about the book ‘Old Turtle’ was that it is very simple yet quite sophisticated as when you start to read there are a few short sentences and it seems like a childrens book but when you continue there is a more deeper meaning to it and I think this is what the writer was trying to do with its deep meaning in a few simple sent
Robert Beveridge
Jun 26, 2009 Robert Beveridge rated it did not like it
Douglas Wood, Old Turtle (Pfeifer-Hamilton, 1992)

Books come to what I optimistically call my TBR list (though I know there's no way I'll be able to read them all before I die; I'd have to get through four or five a day if I live to one hundred) in many different ways, so many that much of the time I don't remember how one book or another got there; Internet recommendation, press release, library flyer, a dozen other sources. I also don't remember, given that I add two or three dozen books a day,
This is a story about how animals see God. Their opinions become an argument until the Old Turtle sheds some light in their conversation. Th illustrations in this piece are very peaceful and inviting. The details on the Old Turtle look so vivid. I gave this book 5 stars because it reminded me of the many questions I thought God was. I liked how Old Turtle calmed the argument and she used her wisdom to explain how the world came to be the way it was.

Aside from God being in this story, it can be
Mar 30, 2014 Brianna rated it it was ok
Shelves: march-2014
I loved the watercolor artwork. However, I found that a lot of the watercolor images were far too small when they could have taken up more space on the pages. Also, because of my view on God, I felt that this book was very confusing on who God actually is. I wouldn't want to place it in my own future home or in the classroom for fear that my children would get very confused as to the true nature of God.
Oct 24, 2012 Annie rated it it was amazing
This is a book worth having, if only for the stunning artwork by Illustrator Cheng-Khee Chee. But in addition to the artwork, the story is one that is ideal for young and old.

In this story, the world begins as a beautiful place, filled with luscious trees and colorful plants and flowers, stuffed with a wide variety of strange and exotic creatures. They begin talking, then discussing, then arguing over who God is. Before they come to blows, Old Turtle offers her wisdom and view of the future.

Heidi Wong
Feb 16, 2015 Heidi Wong rated it did not like it
Shelves: religious-books
I chose this book to write review because this book is truly ridiculous for children to read.
The content is really confusing and makes people wonder what they want to talk about.
It cannot even tell people what God is and why the turtle is talking.
I don't think a child will enjoy reading this and understand about god in this book. I am sorry about that.
Whole And
A brilliantly simple creation tale describing how we came to argue about what God is and in the process stopped listening and destroying the planet. The process of remembering brought back harmony to all things.

A book deserving of the awards it has won.

Bring your little people close to nature, the planet and God through this tale.

Mar 26, 2014 Josi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: march
I thought this was a very heart-felt book that doesn't just appeal to one particular religion or sect. It was a good story which had beautiful artwork to go along with it's narration. I'd recommend this book to anyone whether they were Catholic, LDS, or Jewish, its got a spirituality all it's own.
This is a deep children's book that discusses the different interpretations of God. It isn't appropriate for a public school classroom because of its religious nature, but I remember my mom reading it to me and being moved by the turtle's wise words.
Tay Hook
May 28, 2015 Tay Hook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this aloud to my son and will do so many more times. A beautiful and gentle book that is illustrated in breathtaking water colours. What a treasure...high recommended to all, this is a very important book.
Ashley Whiteley
Mar 26, 2014 Ashley Whiteley rated it liked it
This was a great parable for both children and adults. It is easy to understand and it really makes one think. The earth is a wonderful place and you come to realize that as you read this book. I enjoyed it very much.
Ashley Correll
Feb 07, 2010 Ashley Correll rated it liked it
This book is about about when everything that was living or nonliving could communicate. The fish, the animals, the stars, the wind, and even the mountains could all talk. One day, they all got into a huge arument about who God was. Suddenly, Old Tutle says something (Old Turtle never speaks) He said God is everything everyone mentioned. Then he says there will soon be beings called People will walk the Earth one day as our reminder of him. When the people came they started destroying the Earth ...more
Oct 29, 2014 Joannafrndak rated it really liked it
Old Turtle is a beautifully illustrated story that presents it's moral values in the style of a fable. This is a story of naturalist spirituality, valuing nature, and finding connections to a higher power through animals, mountains, water, and even ourselves. This connects to my topic because this faith pattern has roots in Native American spirituality.
This book is appropriate for children of all ages, wether they read it themselves or have it read to them.

Morgan Djuna Sorais Harrigan
Mar 05, 2016 Morgan Djuna Sorais Harrigan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This is one of the best written children's book I've ever looked at. This beautiful story about how 'God' is in everything makes me cry every time I read it. There are both female and male pronouns for 'God'. Old Turtle reminds all of the creatures of the earth that we are all connected and important.
(Although the word 'God' is used, this book doesn't impose any religion to it's readers. I've seen families that tell the story explaining that 'God' is another word for 'great love' or 'great spir
Jan 07, 2016 Aisha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, uu
One of my favorite children's books, and a really beautiful message about God and what we all believe.
A beautiful story that shows how different animals and people see God. Loretta shared this with me.
Jacquie Young
Dec 30, 2015 Jacquie Young rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books. Both the artwork and the written story are beautiful.
Mariah Gerber
Dec 15, 2014 Mariah Gerber rated it liked it
Shelves: child-lit
I thought that this story was aunique way to talk about God. I enjoyed it.
Catherine Balck
May 24, 2015 Catherine Balck rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite children's books the illustrations are stunning
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Composer, recording artist, wilderness guide, and self-taught naturalist-Douglas Wood is perhaps most widely known as the highly acclaimed author of OLD TURTLE, a 1993 ABBY Award winner and an International Reading Association Book of the Year. Author of several books for readers of all ages, Douglas says he is always seeking themes that are universally significant to both children and adults. His ...more
More about Douglas Wood...

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