By: Stuart Samuel Illustrated by: Nathaniel Dailey Publisher: Jupiter Scientific Publication Date: July 2017 ISBN: 978-0965517607 Reviewed by: Holly Connors Review Date: April 9, 2018
Thomas is a very curious little turtle and his curiosity is about to send him on the adventure of a lifetime...
Thomas lives in a lovely pond with his sister Sally and mother Myrtle. The water is clear, the pond is surrounded by beautiful trees and grasses, and Thomas has a perfect rock to sun himself on when the weather is nice. What could be better?
Thomas likes to explore the pond but his mother has warned him about one very dangerous area - the "forbidden region" - because of what happened to Thomas's father there. Myrtle explains that his father, along with his eleven brothers went out to explore one day but unfortunately, Thomas's father went off to that area and was never seen again. Under no circumstances was Thomas allowed to go there - ever. Of course, we all know how youngsters can be so curious and Thomas was no exception. When he decided to go explore the other side of the pond, with his mother's permission, things went well at first...
All went well with Thomas's explorations until one day he decided to venture too close to the area where his father had disappeared. He slowly, and cautiously, got closer and closer to the forbidden area until he noticed that the current was getting stronger. He tried to swim away but it was too late and he was swept away. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't escape the strong current. In moments, he was tossed right over a waterfall, and plummeted down into the dark water below. Would Thomas be able to escape the deep, dark water and if so, how would he ever find his way home?
The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle tells a good story about a curious turtle and how his explorations landed him in trouble. Readers will learn about the ideal turtle environment and what turtles like to eat. Youngsters will also learn additional turtle facts through Thomas's adventure such as how his shell became dry and hot as he struggled through a grassy hill in search of his pond - he couldn't be away from water for very long. There are points in the story where the narration and dialog are somewhat stilted because of the use of words or terms that are either a bit dated or are for a more mature reader. There is also a recurrent theme with the "forbidden region" and how "an evil force dwells among those waters" that may frighten very young children. It makes sense that the turtles would perhaps think such things since they wouldn't understand a waterfall, but young readers who are sensitive may not enjoy that aspect of the story. Overall, however, for youngsters who are eager to learn about turtles, this book may certainly fill that need.
Quill says: A nice story that teaches children a bit about turtles, their habitats and needs.