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Back to School Tortoise
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Back to School Tortoise

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3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  128 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
It's time to go back to school. But Tortoise is worried. What if he falls down? What if he doesn't like lunch? What if the kids are mean to him? What if he falls down, doesn't like lunch, and the kids are mean to him? The perfect back-to-school book about being brave, with a surprise at the end!
Hardcover, 24 pages
Published 2011 by Albert Whitman (first published February 28th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 183)
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Krista Lineweaver
Apr 13, 2012 Krista Lineweaver rated it really liked it
This book, Back to School Tortoise by Lucy M. George, is a nursery aged picturebook. It is about a tortoise that is nervous to go back to school. He is worried that he won't make any friends, but in the end he walks into the classroom and all is well. This book can be read in a group furing circle time or individually with a teacher or adult. The children will love the illustrations that are very bright and colorful. The children could point to the animals and name different ones, or the childre ...more
Stef Rozitis
Jun 17, 2014 Stef Rozitis rated it it was ok
Shelves: early-childhood
(spoiler alerts) I dunno, I am all about eroding the dichotomy between teachers and students, but the twist at the end of my book left me and the children going wtf? It didn't fit a child's world view it was an adult joke essentially but neither written in an adult nor an accessible to the child sort of a way. The protagonist is referred to as "he" and doesn't have a name (not even Tortoise) which makes the books seem sort of rushed and half thought-out.

My little critical literacy experts were
...more
Jennifer
Sep 24, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Sweet Back-to-School Book... with a heartwarming twist!
Kristel
Picture books with messages of getting ready to go back to school, an event dreaded by most children, abound. Yet, this story has a unique twist. Tortoise is not your average animal getting ready to go back to school. The reader follows along as he says walks along to school, imagining all the ways his first day can go awry. But, “as bravely as he could” Tortoise decides to open the door into the classroom. Beyond delightful, this story provides a fresh new look on an old routine. Painted in ear ...more
Caroline Downer
Sep 22, 2013 Caroline Downer rated it really liked it
I thought "Back to School Tortoise" was an interesting book, and very cute. The illustrations are adorable and the twist at the end of the story completely caught me by surprise! The story is about a tortoise gearing up for his first day back at school. He is at first excited, but then gets nervous thinking about all the things that could go wrong. Then, the tortoise begins to think positively and works up the courage to enter the classroom. At the end of the story the reader realizes that the t ...more
Catherine Austen
Feb 04, 2014 Catherine Austen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Loved it, loved it, loved it. The illustrations are just wonderful - I love the colours (that gorgeous green) and the white spaces and big lettering and the way we're led through the story. Tortoise's mug is just adorable. And the story of his fears is relevant to kids of all ages. There are many picture books about being scared to go to school - this one was especially charming for me.

And the ending, well, I was loving this book before the awesome ending but after that final page I was truly s
...more
Joanne
Mar 10, 2015 Joanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this with my 4 year old son.
The story follows Tortoise as he gets ready to go back to school after the Summer holidays. However he has mixed feelings about it all. What if the others don't like him, what if he trips and falls over but what if he really enjoys it and makes some good friends.
Will Tortoise be brave enough to go to school?
We both enjoyed it and my son did understand the twist at the end of the story and thought it was hilarious!
Alexandra
Aug 20, 2014 Alexandra rated it really liked it
Charming. Will definitely recommend this one to kiddos and parents looking for a good "first day of school" book. The twist is a nice touch.

I've never tried a book about school in story time but I think this one could work; the illustrations are sweet and the text is mostly expressive thoughts. It's a good size for storytime, too.
Renee
Sep 21, 2014 Renee rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: PreK-K
3.75 A cute back to school story with a twist at the end. The pictures are cute - I only wish the tortoise's dream lunch wasn't a bunch of sweets (that's the daughter of a dietitian in me). For PreK/K
Jill
When summer ends, Tortoise is nervous about going back to school. He hesitates, and runs through all the "what-ifs" in his mind. Finally gaining his courage, he steps into the classroom and heads to the front-he is the teacher! PreK-Grade 2.

Curriculum Connection: This would be a great book for those first days back to school with little ones, to discuss that everyone has anxiety and fears about new situations,not just children. It offers reassurance that even their teacher is nervous on the firs
...more
Rebecca Hernandez
Mar 08, 2015 Rebecca Hernandez rated it it was amazing
I love this book for the simplest fact that it gives a great example to children that going back to school might be a tad bit nerve wrecking but through time, it gets smoother & easier.
Rebecca
Nov 23, 2015 Rebecca rated it liked it
Tortoise is nervous about going back to school. He imagines terrible things, but then realizes that he can imagine wonderful things too. Great book for back to school gitters.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Mar 16, 2016 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it really liked it
Shelves: schools
A little story taken from a joke that’s been widely circulated among teachers. Tortoise gets up. It’s the first day of school. But on the way to school, Tortoise begins to worry that he won’t be liked and he won’t have fun. He decides to sit outside the classroom, too scared to go in. Then he starts to imagine all the fun he might be missing and goes in. The class greets him, saying, “Good morning, Mr. Tortoise.”

“Tortoise got up,
got dressed,
and had breakfast.
Then he left for school.
But he starte
...more
Erin
Dec 30, 2015 Erin added it
cute illustrations
Susan
Aug 19, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing
It's about worrying that things might go wrong with a twist at the end (I never saw it coming) and charming pictures.
Karen Burt
Jun 01, 2013 Karen Burt rated it liked it
"Back to School Tortoise" is a back to school book that emphasizes the bravery involved in meeting and making new friends. This book says what many kids feel at the beginning of school. The illustrations show the different emotions that go into the first day of school. This story would also be a good "quick check" book to see which students pick up on the twist at the end.
Krista
Dec 13, 2012 Krista rated it liked it
Shelves: ed-310
Just as it says in the title, I think this book would be great to read when the children come back to school. Some of the characters in the book are not excited to go back to school, but int he end they all are happy to be back and excited to learn which I think is a great way to start the year off. The illustrations are also fun for the kids and have fun animal characters.
Kristen
The cute ending on this pushed it up to a four for me. On his first day back at school, Tortoise worries. What if he trips? What if he doesn't like lunch? But then he also "what ifs" good things, too, like his favorite lunch and making new friends. He decides he can go through with the first day despite his fears, and the cute twist at the end will charm little ones.
Tricia
Aug 22, 2011 Tricia rated it really liked it
Tortoise gets up and prepares for school with "what if's" in this head...both positive and negative. As he enters the classroom, children will giggle with surprise and delight to find what role he plays in the group.
Bethe
Oct 05, 2012 Bethe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
love the illustrations and the surprise ending! I know a bunch of teachers who will want this book next August. Too short however, it needs to be longer to get 5 stars.
Nicole
Nov 28, 2011 Nicole rated it liked it
Not bad. My favorite part was the illustrations (so cute). The story is pretty simple and not very substantial, though it does deal with some common back-to-school worries...
Susan Cassidy
Sep 03, 2012 Susan Cassidy rated it really liked it
Thank you to Olivia for bringing in this book to share - it was a wonderful connection to another story we read last week. Can you remember which one?
Alicia
Oct 21, 2011 Alicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Perfect for a child nervous about starting preschool or kindergarten. I love the adorable animal characters. This is a sweet story with a funny little twist.
Ana
Sep 24, 2011 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
An endearing "twist" on the back-to-school theme. As a former teacher, something I could definitely relate to!
Debby Baumgartner
Jan 21, 2016 Debby Baumgartner rated it liked it
Shelves: surprise, ending
Simple story for preschoolers - second grade about the beginning of school with a surprise ending.
Rebecca
Jun 15, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Aww, this one does a nice job of addressing back-to-school fears in a simple, heartwarming way.
Kelly
Apr 01, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A very cute story about going back to school. This will work for children and adults.
Stefani
Aug 04, 2011 Stefani rated it liked it
Shelves: read-picture
Cute and simple. Very basic, but not bad for tackling the beginning school jitters.
Kristina
Aug 05, 2013 Kristina rated it it was ok
Beautiful illustrations and simple text; however, the ending is just ho hum.
The Reading Countess
Jul 26, 2013 The Reading Countess rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Cute story about the first day of school jitters perfect for the younger set.
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