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TURTLE IN THE SEA by Jim Arnosky


by Jim Arnosky & illustrated by Jim Arnosky

Pub Date: July 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-399-22757-1
Publisher: Putnam

Another nature lesson and environmental message from a specialist in translating the wonders of the natural world into terms children can understand. Arnosky (Field Trips, p. 405, etc.) gives the reader a peek into the life of a female sea turtle. As she comes to shore to lay her eggs, the scars we see on her shell serve as a segue for looking into her past. They tell the story of the many disasters, both natural and manmade, that she has encountered. A narrow escape from a shark resulted in one mark, while the crack in her shell was the consequence of a run-in with a motorboat. The scrapes and chips happened when the raging swirls of a waterspout caught her and tossed her about, finally landing her on the beach. Her final mishap left her unmarked, but wiser—as she was chasing some fish to eat, she became tangled in a fisherman’s net. Luckily, the man collected his fish, and set her free. Throughout it all, her survival instinct was strong. She had to survive for her children—the eggs she now lays, covers with sand, and leaves. The reader will see the hatchlings crawl to the sea, but the mother will not: “That is the turtle way.” Throughout, readers will marvel over Arnosky’s characteristic watercolor paintings, which truly bring nature to life. The soft blues, greens, and yellows of the water bring the reader right into the sea with the turtle. Especially captivating are his depictions of the mangrove cove where the turtle recuperates, and the adorable hatchlings as they scurry to the sea. Arnosky’s gentle combination of lesson and beautiful artwork will serve to capture the nature-lover in every child. (Picture book. 4-8)