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The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle

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Thomas the Turtle lives with his family on a picturesque pond. He is told by his mother not to go to a forbidden region of the pond. But Thomas's curiosity gets the better of him and one day he ventures too close and is swept away. What follows is a battle with nature as Thomas struggles to reunite with his family.

20 pages, Paperback

First published July 18, 2017

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5 stars
27 (56%)
4 stars
8 (16%)
3 stars
7 (14%)
2 stars
4 (8%)
1 star
2 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews
July 12, 2017
Thomas the Turtle is a delightful story beautifully illustrated realism of the love for family, life lessons, and the importance of obeying parents. I read this book aloud and shared the pictures to Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students in my school and followed with questions and discussion. As the children listened they became more engaged in what was happening to Thomas and eagerly wanted to see the pictures. I recommend this book for all ages to remind us of making wise choices especially when those who loves us give instruction or guidance.

-- Theresa Courtney-Ketcher, Principal, Forest Park Elementary (A National Blue Ribbon School)
May 14, 2017
The Adventures of Thomas the Turtle by Stuart Samuel is story that children will love. Kids will love the adventure. Parents will love the moral. Those interested in nature will love the turtle family and the outdoor setting. Everyone will love the beautiful illustrations.
Profile Image for Storywraps.
1,968 reviews31 followers
June 22, 2017
Thomas the turtle lives with his sister Sally and his mother Myrtle at Placid Pond. His father unfortunately disappears one day while he and his eleven brothers are out swimming and exploring uncharted territory. Some strange mysterious force sweeps him away and he is never seen again. The spot where he vanishes is named the forbidden region and Thomas promises his mother that he will never, ever go near there.

But one day curiosity gets the best of Thomas and he strikes out to go to search for his father. He paddles towards the forbidden region and he himself experiences the evil force pulling him forward rendering him helpless. Oh my! No matter how much he resists and splashes it is futile. Poor Thomas gets swept away by the evil, demonic swell as well.

The rest of the story centres around how the struggling exhausted little turtle makes his way back home to his family. Through prayer and two kind compassionate strangers (who are answers to his prayers), he is lead back to the safety and care of his beloved mother and sister. He learns a very valuable life lesson... listen and obey what your mother tells you.

The illustrations are amazing and can easily stand alone. They enrich the text greatly. I love the care that the humans bestow on the pathetic little guy and that they make the right to choice to take him back to his pond enabling him to stay in his natural habitat as opposed to bringing him home for their pet. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Crystal.
Author 14 books7 followers
July 27, 2017
There are 3 things a child can take away from reading The Adventures of Thomas the Turtle, though I'm sure there are more depending on your perspective.

1. Listen to your parents - Thomas is warned not to go to a specific area in their pond, but he is overcome with curiosity and forced into an adventure that separates him from his family.

2. Wild animals belong in their natural habitat. Leave them alone. Thomas meets a couple of kids whose first instinct is to take him home with them as a pet, which would separate Thomas from his family forever.

3. Pray. To teach a child to pray in times of trouble is to teach them that there is hope and to never give up. Believing in a higher power sometimes is all it takes for some people to get through life and to not give up even when things are at their worst. We should teach our kids that while thy're still young and before it's too late.

This is a beautifully illustrated book that teaches children a very valuable and practical lesson about nature, animals and listening to their parents.

768 reviews3 followers
July 19, 2017
One curious turtle takes a dangerous journey in The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle by Stuart Samuel. The story is simply told with lovely colorful illustrations. Thomas’ story is one of family, kindness of others, going astray and returning home the wiser for the journey. Also within the story is a spiritual quality that I was pleased to see.

Geared towards young children, Thomas’ adventure has enough danger to keep them interested but not so much as to scare children. Early elementary children would enjoy seeing the events from Thomas’ perspective. Maybe like me, they will always relate any turtle that see to Thomas, speculating on what kind of adventure the turtle is taking at the time.

4.5 Stars
The publisher through Net Galley provided a copy.
August 10, 2017
I enjoyed this book, which I read on NetGalley.

Adjectives to describe this book (in story order): tranquil, inquisitive, panic-stricken, suspenseful, adventuresome, joyful

Nouns related to the book's themes (in story order): family, nature, curiosity, adversity, endeavor, determination, faith, intervention, filial loyalty, happiness

As you can tell by the last words: it has a happy ending.

Also see my comment to Liliyana Shadowlyn's review.

My rating: 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Carol Keen.
Author 6 books118 followers
August 11, 2017
​An adorable and well illustrated turtle story. I really enjoyed it and children of all ages should enjoy this as well. ​Mother's have great wisdom, and should be listened to. Will Thomas learn that before it's too late?

My copy came from Net Galley. My thoughts and opinions are my own. This review is left of my own free volition.
1 review
June 24, 2017
I received an ACR from the publisher.

I read this book to my son and he loved the story. The story is very good.
Profile Image for Deborah.
204 reviews11 followers
September 2, 2017
A story of a turtle who tempts fate and faces disaster. This is a tale of warning against dangers and the child ( the turtle) ignores the impending doom. This teaches about nature, it's hidden traps , obedience for safety sake, learning to face serious obstacles and trials and surmounting them, learning thankfulness for elders who try to teach you in order to keep you safe. Watercolor illustrations in natural settings, not cartoony. Good also for ecology minded, nature lovers, naturalists, nature centers, public and school libraries. Thanks to NetGalley for chance to read this in exchange for honest review. May be intense for very young children.
1 review
July 11, 2017
An endearing tale of a brave turtle curious about the world around him. The beautiful illustrations capture the emotional journey of finding one's way home. The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle is a great read for children of all ages, and is sure to have you wondering where the turtles that cross your path have come from and where they might be going.

— Emily Wyatt, Author of Goodnight Little Rock
Profile Image for Paul Franco.
1,373 reviews11 followers
June 5, 2017
Between bright illustrations of forest and water a mama turtle tells her son not to go to the forbidden zone, where his dad was lost so long ago. He’s a kid, one who roughhouses with his sister; guess what happens.
Pretty simple story well told, with a message parents will love, if not kids. Even the humans come off well in this one.
1,053 reviews
June 2, 2017
I received an electronic copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.
A well illustrated book about Thomas the turtle who does not listen to his mother about a dangerous part of the pond. He is curious and ventures to the edge of the pond where he is swept over a waterfall. He survives the jagged rocks and rushing water and pulls himself up the bank, exhausted. In attempting to get home, he is rescued by two children who take him back to the pond. There are good messages about leaving wild creatures in the wild and listening to your mother. My six year-old really enjoyed the story and the adventure and we talked about the message of listening to your parents. I think this book is good for the upper preschool and early elementary ages. It is a bit too wordy for toddlers.
Profile Image for Kristina.
400 reviews10 followers
July 16, 2017
My Thoughts: This is a cute story about a young turtle who one day, decides to go against his mother's rules, going to the forbidden region. Thomas' father was lost in the forbidden region of the pond and never seen again. Thomas goes on a wild ride and ends up far from home and struggles to find a way back. Fortunately, two children are there to assist him.
The illustrations made this book for me. They were very well done and do a great job showing Thomas' story from home, to the forbidden region, and back again.
Profile Image for Jane Shambler.
783 reviews27 followers
June 4, 2017
This was a sweet story about turtles. The underlying message was one of listen to your mother.

The illustrations are very well done and represent the story well.

I think children and adults alike will enjoy it. Although there is an argument that children should not follow blindly.

Quite well written.

*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley*
1 review
October 4, 2017
A great story about a turtle with great illustrations. My six year old son loved it.
1 review
December 2, 2017
My native language is Spanish so I cannot judge the writing as well as a native speaker. I thought the book was very cute.
Profile Image for DubaiReader.
782 reviews28 followers
June 17, 2017
3.5 stars.
This is a cute little story about a turtle who doesn't take his mother's advice and wanders into the area where his father was last seen. What had appeared to be a calm part of the pond suddenly revealed itself to have hidden dangers and Thomas is swept downstream.

From then on he has to use his own ingenuity and determination to get back to his safe part of the pond. Along the way he is helped by some children who sensibly realise that he is a wild creature and shouldn't be taken home as a pet.

A highly moral tale about listening to advice, but also dealing with adversity. Unfortunatley it does have some rather dated vocabulary that wouldn't be used by a young child, or his parents.

Nathaniel Dailey's illustrations are good, particularly of the wildlife, less so of the children.
Unfortunately the cover screams out Indie publication. I don't know why this is always so but Indie books always seem to be instantly recognisable.
Profile Image for Dana Gisser.
132 reviews8 followers
May 19, 2017
I received a copy of this book from netgalley for a review.

The illustrations in this book were beautiful as well as accurate, as the daughter of a herpetologist I often have problems with inaccuracies of animals both in drawing and in the narrative. The illustrations were much more enticing to me than the actual story line however.

I loved that this book mentioned the turtles need for water and that the human kids did the right thing. I have to admit I was slightly disappointed at this resolution though, I really was expecting Thomas to find his father and the two of them to find their way home together so I was let down by that but in the end this is still a cute story with beautiful pictures to encourage little ones to have a passion for the natural world. Even for a picture book it just seemed like a too quick ending.
Profile Image for Liliyana Shadowlyn.
2,490 reviews75 followers
October 28, 2017
Although I enjoyed the illustrations, I found this book to be clunky, and unsuitable for children. With forced, choppy dialog and words that I would not expect the intended audience to understand, this book was a poor attempt at a fun story for children. I'm not sure if the underlying moral was meant to be so overt, instead of subtle, like an Aesop's fables. The book also discourages children from doing things independently and encourages blind obedience. The way Thomas's father and his disappearance are introduced in both random and unbelievable even for a children's book. It would be insulting to expect a child to enjoy more than the illustrations of this book.

Received for review
Profile Image for Reader Views.
2,381 reviews105 followers
February 1, 2018
Reviewed by Rose (age 7) for Reader Views (01/18)

“The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle” by Stuart Samuel was so fun! I liked how the adventure took place. Thomas the Turtle was going to swim to a new part of the pond that his mother warned him not to go to. Then there was a water fall that pulled him over the edge with jagged rocks at the bottom, and he thought there was an evil force that was under the water. Then there was a whirlpool that was trying to suck him in, but he found a way to get on the shore. He was trying to get back to his own part of the pond without going back the way he came. Then he got stuck in a thorn bush without realizing it. Then he saw a boy and a girl and heard their voices, and they helped him by getting him out of the thorn bush and bringing him home to his part of the pond.

Thomas learned a lesson about obedience, and not to go near the forbidden region. The people in the story were good helpers - they helped him get back home to his part of the pond. His choice to go exploring was not a good choice, but it’s not always a bad choice to explore. Kids should never go into a dangerous situation without someone on their side that can help keep them safe. I think this author was trying to teach kids a lesson about obeying their parents, and never going off to explore in dangerous places without their parents. I think if I was separated from my mom or dad and got lost, I would feel scared and hope I would be able to find some help like Thomas did to get back home to my family.

I really wish that Thomas would have learned something more from his adventure, like why the forbidden region was really forbidden and the reason for the turtles to believe that there was a hidden evil force, which were really a waterfall and a whirlpool. I was glad that he learned to obey his mom, but wish it didn’t include him being fearful of exploring and learning new things. This book made me want to know more about Thomas’s story, like if he ever found his father. I wish he had found his father, or at least learned more about what happened to him.

Also, this book has some old fashioned ways of saying things, like “He’s awful warm,” and “Thomas felt a deep affection for her.” Some other examples are, “We were afraid to venture where he had gone - lest we too be swept away,” and “It came to pass that Thomas could no longer stand it.” Not using all those old fashioned words might have made it easier to understand.

Once I saw a turtle in my backyard, and it was neat to imagine where it had come from. Maybe it had an adventure like Thomas! My favorite part was when Thomas found his mom again after his adventure. I also really liked the pictures; they are really cool and fun. I think they were done with colored pencil, and they’re awesome. I think my friends should read “The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle” by Stuart Samuel because it’s fun - there’s an adventure!
Profile Image for LitPick Book Reviews.
703 reviews24 followers
August 15, 2018
Penhallow is a stone gargoyle (though the proper term, he says, is a “Grotesque”). He protects his building and its residents from the evil, undead Netherkin, who attack the living from the shadows. One night, his only friends are killed, leaving him as the last Grotesque in the city of Boston. That’s not the only worrisome thing that’s happened, though. His new wards are being attacked by Netherkin much more than usual, a mysterious October snowstorm is coming, and strange figures are prowling the city. He meets a human named Viola, who can converse with Grotesques. Penhallow doesn’t know whether to trust her and accept her help in tracking down who (or what) is behind the strange happenings. An ancient plot is resurfacing, and Penhallow may be the only one who can save his wards and the entire city.

The Last Gargoyle is a perfect blend of action and humor. Along with chilling intensity and sinister plots, there is also the kind of sarcastic jokes I love to see in the books that I read. The dry humor also helps define Penhallow as a character. At first, Penhallow may not seem like a very flawed character because he’s brave, vigilant, and focused on the task at hand. But with his friendship with Viola and the unfogging of his own past, he faces many emotional struggles just as difficult as his fights with the Netherkin.The book’s first-person point-of-view from the perspective of Penhallow helps keep the other characters’ secrets in shadow, making their reveal a lot more climactic. This book originally caught my eye because it was set in Boston (since I live near the city and visit it often). I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever been to Boston, as many events in the story take place at or near famous places such as the Prudential Center, the Theater District, and Boston Common. With a gripping plot, dark twists, and a real-life setting, The Last Gargoyle will appeal to fantasy-lovers everywhere.

Reviewed by a LitPick Student Book Reviewer, Age 13
Profile Image for Melissa.
1,574 reviews20 followers
October 25, 2017
First of all, I have to say that the illustrations are gorgeous. I picked this one up especially because my son has a turtle pacifier that goes everywhere with him, so I'm particularly interested in turtle books these days :-P
Thomas the Turtle's father once got swept away, and he promised his mother he'd never return to the spot of the accident...but of course he gets curious and just has to check it out! Of course he gets swept away too, and once lost prays that he'll get back to his family. A compassionate couple finds him and decides to help him, and he gets back home in the end. Great lessons throughout on listening to your mother, helping those in need, etc. All in all this does have a good moral story, although I personally can do without the emphasis on prayer being the answer.
Profile Image for Carla.
6,131 reviews134 followers
May 15, 2017
This is a story about Thomas the Turtle who wants to venture beyond Placid Pond. When he goes to a place where he has been warned by his mother not to go, he gets into a very dangerous situation. Fortunately for Thomas, it ends well. The illustrations are very nice and my grandson and I talked about them, but he was not really interested in the story, it was too long for him. I think this would be a good story for children 5 to 6 with the message being to listen to your parents when they warn you about danger. Could be used with a great discussion afterwards. A nice addition for family libraries. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
252 reviews1 follower
July 14, 2017
Thomas the Turtle lives in Placid Pond with his family. Thomas' mother warns him never to go to the forbidden region of the pond. An evil force lives there and it swept his father away.

Thomas plays with his sister and explores, but eventually his curiosity gets the best of him and he heads to the forbidden region. Like his father, the water in the forbidden region pulls him away, far away. This starts Thomas' adventure and his struggle to get back to Placid Lake.

*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.
Profile Image for Cheryl Olivera.
98 reviews7 followers
January 6, 2021
Stewart Samuel bring us an Amazing adventure in The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle. A story about a turtle that ventures out to see what happened to his father. This story will appeal to children in elementary school and younger. It has a great lesson about listening when you are told, and not to disobey. Nathaniel Dailey's illustrations are wonderful, and vivid, and will charm the reader. This is a very cute story little ones will love
Profile Image for Ryan.
4,707 reviews25 followers
May 10, 2017
Thomas the turtle was warned to stay away from the fast moving water by his mother. But he didn’t listen and got swept over a waterfall. Luckily some kids found him and returned him to his home and mother in Placid Pond. The story is typical and overly long. It’s incredibly wordy. The illustrations are not bad, but the cover needs redone.
Profile Image for Bookworm Blogger.
701 reviews23 followers
August 14, 2020
I thought this was a lovely story. The illustrations are beautiful and will help engage children with the book. I would love to read more about the adventures that Thomas goes on so please consider writing a sequel. I can't wait till my son is old enough to read this story.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews

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