Far, far out at sea lives one of the world's most mysterious creatures, the loggerhead turtle. For thirty years she swims the oceans, wandering thousands of miles as she searches for food. Then, one summer night, she lands on a beach to lay her eggs — the very same beach where she herself was born. Nicola Davies's lyrical text offers fascinating information about the journey of the tiny, endangered loggerhead, while charming paintings by Jane Chapman vividly illustrate one turtle's odyssey.
About the Author
Nicola Davies is an author and zoologist. She says the Arctic is the most extraordinary place she has ever been. Nicola wanted to capture its magic by writing about the two ultimate Arctic survivors, polar bears and the Inuit people. Nicola is also the author of Big Blue Whale, Surprising Sharks and Poo.
About the illustrator
Jane Chapman also loves sea turtles and has wanted to paint them for ages. Her other books for children include ONE DUCK STUCK by Phyllis Root and THE EMPEROR'S EGG by Martin Jenkins, a National Science Teachers Association - Children's Book Council Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children.
Davies's (Bat Loves the Night) dramatic rendering of the life cycle of the Loggerhead turtle draws readers into the mysteries of this reclusive deep-sea creature, while Chapman's (The Emperor's Egg) aqua-tinted full-spread illustrations bring the ocean world to life in all its majestic beauty. Loggerhead swims alone in the vastness of the water, munches on crabs, floats over coral reefs and crawls with slow, heavy steps across the beach to lay her eggs. The text addresses readers directly, while seamlessly weaving facts into the story: "For thirty years you might not find her./ Then one summer night she arrives,/ on the beach where she was born." Additional details deliberately placed outside the story in a smaller font and wavy typeset may confuse youngsters at first, but overall, the informative text flows with poetic grace: "Just beneath the surface/ is a tangle of weed and driftwood/ where tiny creatures cling./ This is the nursery of a sea turtle." Aspiring scientists may also wonder how the newborn turtles find their way from the shore to these "nurseries," but the author gives them much to mull over. By the time Loggerhead's hatchlings race for their lives across the beach, under threat of attack, readers will be emotionally invested in their plightAa sure sign of the accomplished storytelling. Ages 5-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Parent Council Reviews
For thirty years she swims the oceans wandering thousands of miles in search of food. One summer night she lands on shore to lay her eggs on the same beach where she was hatched! This story of one tiny turtle's journey is beautifully illustrated. 2001, Candlewick Press, $15.99. Ages 5 to 10. Reviewer: S. Kleven SOURCE: Parent Council, September 2001 (Vol. 9, No. 1)
For inquisitive kids there is nothing better than well-written nonfiction. Nicola Davies is an author with many accolades for doing just that and her book about loggerhead turtles was named The Best Children's Book of the Year, 2002, by Bank Street College of Education and it received half a dozen state awards. The book has been reissued as part of the "Read, Listen & Wonder" series. The story tells of the life of a loggerhead, how it grows from a tiny little creature hatched from an egg, that it finds refuge in the sea, growing eventually into a huge creature weighing so much that at maturity it can barely pull its body across the sand to dig a nest and lay eggs. Once born these turtles face great danger and many do not even make it to the sea. Creatures just lie in wait to make a meal of them. Once at sea, there are other dangers until the turtle ages and its shell grows hard enough and it is big enough that it is no longer a tasty meal for a fish. Scientists really do not know much about sea turtles and certainly there is no explanation of how they manage after nearly 20 years to find their way back to the beach where they hatched to lay the eggs for another generation. The pictures are totally complementary. The text is also complemented by a factual test that runs along the bottom of certain pages like the waves that are a part of these turtles' habitats. In this reissue the story is read by Alan Marriott and then additional facts are provided about this creature that is so elusive. The third and final track has the book being read again with music to assist young readers with the page turns. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-This nicely developed picture-book introduction to the loggerhead turtle sketches the life experiences of a typical female through text and broad acrylic views. The author exhibits a flair for alliteration and imagery in her descriptive narrative about this sea animal: "Just beneath the surface is a tangle of weed and driftwood where tiny creatures cling. This is the nursery of a sea turtle." Several pages follow the creature's early period and departure for the larger sea, and then the years of growth and travel are skimmed until her eventual return to the beach of her birth to lay her own eggs. On many pages curving lines of smaller type add bits of explanation, augmenting the story line. The double-spread paintings, occasionally alternating with smaller pictures set on aqua pages, focus on the turtle, with a few water plants suggesting underwater detail. A fine bed of blue crabs on which the turtle feasts is the only view of other animals sharing the ocean habitat until a concluding beach scenario where gulls and crabs threaten the newly hatched turtles who are starting the cycle anew. A very brief introduction identifies this turtle as a loggerhead. Gail Gibbons's Sea Turtles (Holiday, 1995) and Brenda Guiberson's Into the Sea (Holt, l995) offer young readers more information on this interesting animal. Broadly sketched in good language and pictures for read-aloud sharing, Davies's title will be enjoyed as a glimpse into the ways of the remarkable giant sea turtles.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"Simple, lyrical words and bright, acrylic double-page pictures convey the astonishing facts about the loggerhead sea turtle... A powerful nature story for a young audience."
Series: Read and Wonder (Paperback)
For Ages: 6 - 7 years old
For Grades: 1 - 2
Number Of Pages: 28
Published: 14th June 2005
Dimensions (cm): 24.9 x 23.0 x 0.3
Weight (kg): 0.159