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Turtle Spring

by Deborah Turney Zagwyn

Published by Tricycle Press, 1998
32 pages
ISBN: 1-883672-53-8

Ages 4 - 8

The birth of her brother at the start of summer has left Clee feeling "like a lost moon." Clee's uncle, Fishtank Hal, understands. When he comes to visit he brings her a turtle. " 'She ain't a gift for a baby,' he tells her. 'She's too big and would only pinch it.' Clee knew the feeling." As summer turns into fall, more changes take place in Clee's world. Her father leaves for a job far away from which he won't return for months; the relatives' visits to ooh and ahh over the baby subside; and the turtle, which spent early autumn sunning in the sandbox, begins burrowing under leaves for warmth. Clee's mother advises her to bring the turtle in at night, but Clee does not, and on a cold November day she finds the turtle in the compost pile, "stone still, stone cold." Heartbroken, she buries the turtle deep within the compost heap. But there is a happy surprise in store for Clee in this tender story that also depicts the funny, warm and subtly changing relationship between Clee and her baby brother. In illustrations that are as lyrical and inspired as the text, Clee, her family and the mystery taking place beneath the ground are set against a backdrop of boldly changing seasons in a book that is a quiet yet joyful. CCBC categories: Picture Books for Older Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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