Sunday, May 26, 2013

"A Place for Turtles" by Melissa Steward & Illustrated by Higgins Bond (Review & Giveaway)

Hardcover: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-693-2
When raising my children in small-town-USA with a big backyard, it seemed inevitable that they would find turtles from time to time. When they did, they were allowed (by Mom and Dad) to pick them up carefully (being careful to avoid the reach of the turtles snapping mouth), and observe them for awhile. The turtles were never harmed and were ALWAYS placed back where they were found. This gave the kids the opportunity to see some of God's creation up close and observe their movements.

Of course, the kids didn't want to let the turtles go back where they belonged, and that is why Moms and Dads make decisions. You see, there is A Place for Turtles and it is not in a box in your house. Not in a terrarium on your shelf. And not away from their natural habitat.

This beautifully illustrated book about turtles gives a good introduction to young elementary children of the importance of preserving the natural habitats of wildlife and in particular turtles.  When plants foreign to a region are introduced, they can wreak havoc on the survival of wildlife. Each two page spread illustrates a turtle species or fact and there are interesting tidbits in a sidebar.

I especially like the two page spread in the front and the back of the book depicting the North America area with mapped distribution of each type of turtle. There are 12 illustrations for 12 different turtle types, including ocean dwelling turtles.

Now back to my kids and turtles..... I am pretty sure the turtles they always found were most probably Boxed Turtles, though there may have been a spotted turtle, too. Again, we knew it was best not to keep them as "pets" and quickly released them back to the area in which they were found.  Did the same turtles revisit us? Ah, who knows. I just know that we found right many turtles through the years though we didn't live near a pond or creek.  They just came and went. Such is our natural world. Fascinating and interesting and all God's creation.

GIVEAWAY: The kind folks at Peachtree Publishers is providing an opportunity for one Chat With Vera reader to have their very own copy of A Place for Turtles. Just use the entry form below and then we'll soon see who the winner is. Begins May 26 & ENDS June 12 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE:  A complimentary copy of A Place for Turtles was provided by Peachtree Publishers in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own.

29 comments:

  1. My husband had a snapping turtle that he kept in a washtub.
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  2. Watched a hummingbird visit my geraniums this morning!
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  3. Happy Thought: My mom always said... I love you, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck. Now my daughter says it to me!
    Kathy Davis
    kdavis1@centurytel.net

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    1. Sweet saying and one I, too, remember! :)

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  4. We were at the beach on vacation. One evening we watched as something big seemed to have washed up on the shore. Soon it began to crawl through the sand. As we got closer we realized it was a sea turtle coming out of the water to lay it's eggs. How exciting for us, especially the kids.
    Kathy Davis
    kdavis1@centurytel.net

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  5. my son caught a turtle 2 yrs ago and still has

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  6. the other day i gave the Secretary at my doctors some flowers just because she loved them

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  7. Our family has a couple of funny turtle stories. One year, when we were traveling about trying to raise funds for our mission to England, we were given a lakeside cabin to stay in for a week while presenting our mission statement during VBS at a local church that week. We had not done any fishing as a family before & we were totally caught up in the newness & excitement of it all. Catching these beautiful creatures that Dad would clean & then we could eat to our heart's content. We would start early in the morning & fish late into the evening every day. On day 4, we had fished late again. Dad was tired of not eating until 1 am every day after he cleaned & cooked the fish all by himself so we decided to leave all of our blue gill on a stringer tied to the dock & we'd have some in the morning for breakfast. What a treat! When he went out to retrieve the stringer, it was full of nothing but bones! Snapping turtles had ravaged our entire stringer of fish! We learned a lesson & ate something less exciting for breakfast that day.

    Another time, just a few years later, our boys, then tweens, had found & brought home a snapping turtle; unbeknownst to us. My husband was preaching at a small town church across the street from our house (the parsonage). One day, he was sitting at his desk & his peripheral vision caught movement outside the window facing the street. He looked up & saw this humongous snapping turtle waddling it's way down the middle of the street. We learned, at supper time when he was telling the kids, that was OUR snapping turtle, lol. Then they showed us their little hiding spot where they had dug a hole in the mud & filled it with water for the turtle. We're lucky our sons still have fingers! That thing was huge!

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    1. Priceless! I recall when my children were little we often had turtles traverse our back yard and often the kids would oohhh and aahhh over them wanting to keep them. On day my precocious elder son (maybe 8 or 10 at the time) picked one up. He was about the size of a small saucer and thick as snapping/box turtles are. That feisty turtle stretched out his neck and lived up to his name.... he snapped or bit into my son's hand. Son then started to do the anxious "I've been bit by a turtle" dance with accompanying screams and hollers. It alarmed the rest of the kids (we had 4 at the time) and they, of course, came running to get mommy. By the time I got out there, that feisty turtle had been "shook off" my son's hand and he carried a morsel of flesh with him. Son was still screaming and hollering. But turtle was not going to let go! So he didn't. He was released with a bit of skin as his souvenir of the occasion. Son is now a grown man with grown children of his own. He fishes and hunts and loves the out-of-doors. But he still respects the ability of a turtle to defend itself with those mighty jaws in its snapping mouth.

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  8. My happy thought:
    “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

    ― John Wesley

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    1. Love that good old Wesley quote. The Wesley brothers had a wonderful gift of words. Love the old hymns they wrote.

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  9. Our boys found a turtle and wanted to bring him inside and adopt him as a pet. I had to explain that turtles were made to live outside in nature and not to be their pets. Reluctantly they said goodbye to their new turtle friend
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com Merry

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  10. I love watching the deer where my husband works
    marypopmm (at) yahoo (dot) com Merry

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  11. There are a pair of turtles at my children's school. They may move slow but they manage to keep out of the way of the little ones hands and mostly like to hide when the kids are around.

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  12. After finding a massive amount of traffic to the beach, we decided to go strawberry picking. The first farm we went to was closed because they were all picked out and their deli/pie shop had a huge line out the door so we continued on to the next strawberry patch, only to find sunny weather (usually it is very windy and cold), a field full of berries, and hardly anyone there! The kids loved it!

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  13. Oh yes, a few, lol. Our sons best friend had a turtle that grew to be quite large in a 55 gal aquarium, our grandson (our daughters son) loved Justin's turtle so I bought him and his sister the small turtles as pets. Rachel's died after a few weeks but Matthews, who he named Justin after his uncle's best friend, lived through hurricanes, getting out of his tank and was lost in Matt's closet for two weeks, so needless to say they got the 55 gal aquarium from Justin (the person not the turtle, lol). When their family was going to move back to Florida they decided they wouldn't have room for the aquarium so we gave him to my best friends daughter, who happened to love turtles, for a graduation present, lol. He is still alive and well after about 13 years and has a happy home still!

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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  14. When you wake up in the morning tell yourself that this is going to be a fantastic day because I'm still here to enjoy it.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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  15. About 5 years ago, a friend of mine found a turtle when he was camping up north. He gave it to my daughter to take care of and keep. She loved it! We had it on the back deck with rocks, water, in a big plastic bin. One day she must have stacked the rocks to high...well, Tommy the Turtle escaped. We looked everywhere for it! We think he dried up and died. In a way, I'm glad we didn't find it. I didn't want her to see it dead. We all felt bad!

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  16. If you want a friend, be a friend!

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  17. Sounds like a great book! I remember finding a turtle in our (above ground) pool once when I was a kid. Super hot day, it was just swimming around. :)

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  18. I just saw the cutest cat today. His name is Gray & he lives with me!

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  19. For some reason, my daughter is on a turtle craze. She keeps asking me to buy her a turtle, or a plush turtle at the very least. We always take walks around the library pond because there are turtles that live there.

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  20. A lovely looking book, thanks so much for linking it in to the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

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  21. My oldest daughter (now 20) loved turtles when she was around 6. She begged me to take her to a local pond. It wasn't until we got there that I realized she was on a mission to catch a "pet".

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  22. If you want to be happy, be. ~Leo Tolstoy

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  23. My happy thought...love is patient, love is kind. Show someone some love today. :-)

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  24. I had a pet turtle as a kid. I believe it was a box turtle. Since it had come from the woods to begin with, we eventually let it go back in the wild. My Dad wrote my name on it's shell.

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  25. There is a pond on the side of the road to Grandma's house. It's filled with ducks, swimming and just siting around. There are ducks everywhere. Onc day our little one said look at that log, there's some turtles. Looking, I too was surprised that about 10 turtles were just laying on a log that was sticking out of the water and the turtles started right where the land ends into the pond. They were turned facing the water and some facing upward away from the water. Everytime we go down that road she draws a picture of what the turtles are doing. Amazed each time it's a different formation. Once there were no turtles, then they started coming back. We all get excited to see those turtles, sometimes we go down that road even when we don't need to. Now she has a little book of turtle pictures. I bound it and we just add pictures and dates and add it to the book, she loves it. We love it just to see a little of what her mind sees, like an open window on a summer day with the wind blowing it.
    ncjeepster@aol.com

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  26. Happy Thought: The new trend of doing a kind deed is bring a smile to a person waiting in line behind you at a drive through window. You simply pay their bill and your bill. When they come to pay, they tell them it's already paid. Usually it continues for a while and sometimes the next person in line is happy he does not have to pay and drives off.

    We have a friend that at Starbucks and we conducted a experiment for 2 days. I came through and paid the next person's bill. The first day it actually continued for 3+ hours. It was amazing. But the 2nd day I started it and it only lasted 1+ hours. The 2nd day was on a Friday, we figured that people were saving their money for the weekend. My friend enjoyed it and was so happy that people actually reacted surprised and generous. I try and do a random act of kindness every day in some form or another.

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