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Old Turtle Hardcover – Sep 1 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; Reissue edition (Sept. 1 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439309085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439309080
  • Product Dimensions: 26.1 x 23.8 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

When all of creation--trees, stones, ants, the sky, fish—-begins arguing over who or what God is, quiet Old Turtle is the only one who has the wisdom and ability to see beyond herself to capture the essence. The debate escalates until Old Turtle finally speaks: "STOP!" She accepts and incorporates the beliefs of all the creatures: "God is indeed deep," she says to the fish in the sea, "and much higher than high," she tells the mountains. "God is gentle and powerful. Above all things and within all things... God IS." Old Turtle, after silencing the crowds with her understanding, makes a prediction about the appearance of a new "family of beings" in the world. These beings, human beings, do appear, and soon are fighting among themselves over the nature of God. It is only when people start listening to the mountains and winds and stones and stars that they actually begin to hear--and to heal the earth.

A graceful fable, with elegant, dreamlike watercolors by illustrator Cheng-Khee Chee, Douglas Wood's modern-day classic makes a hushed but strong environmental statement, as well as a plea for universal acceptance. (Ages 5 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Long ago, an argument arose between mountains and rivers, stars and ants, lions and bears on the nature of God. A terrible cacophony of quarreling voices rang out until wise Old Turtle quelled the din, explaining that "God is all that we dream of, and all that we seek. . .all that we come from and all that we can find." But soon disagreement was heard again as the world's people raised voice and fist against each other, harming the natural order. Illustrated in exquisite watercolors, this eloquent plea for unity and understanding between people and nature is both frank and understated. Chee captures the mysterious beauty of the world in pastels imbued with quiet energy, complementing the lilting cadence of the poetic text. Certainly both author and artist have combined rare talents to produce an enchanting book, yet one that is barely accessible to a child. Difficult ideas, painterly art and sophisticated language make this a book primarily for adults. All ages.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Rose on April 26 2004
Format: Hardcover
I still have this amazingly and beautifully illustrated story book in hard cover with the "1993 ABBY Book of the Year Children's Book Award" gold sticker on the front. This book is a priceless gem that I have read to my children countless times.
Douglas Wood's phenomenal writing teaches us about honoring the diversities among nature, plants, trees, mountains, the ocean, and all of the different kinds of people on Earth.
Cheng-Khee Chee created the most beautiful watercolor illustrations that look brand new over a decade later in the hard cover edition, which is truly the only edition you would want to buy.
The story is too beautiful to describe. It is an amazing experience. If you want to know which book out of a million to read to your children, this is the one.
HIGHLY Recommended. It is Priceless, and as an adult, I love reading this book as much as my children love hearing it. A MUST BUY, and A MUST READ!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By elfdart TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 3 2008
Format: Hardcover
this was a nice book on diversity. i think one of the things people get the most worked up over is spirituality. it's one of those things that can touch a person more deep than anything else, and everyone's perspective will differ, even if only minutely. wars have been started over the issue, and all because we're too pig headed and focused on our own validity. this book starts off with animals and rocks and trees each saying that what they think god is is indeed the true god, and that god seems to resemble the speaker. then the old turtle stops them and tell them of the coming of a new group, humans, and how they are supposed to be a message from god the the earth and a prayer from the earth to god. then people come and after while start to do not so nice things and nature says to stop. then the beings that said god was like themselves at the beginning of the book said they saw god in that which was opposite themselves. i guess the moral being have an open mind about that which is different from yourself, because it really isn't so alien to what you believe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jedidiah Palosaari on April 3 2002
Format: Hardcover
This was a wonderful story and one the children I read it to at the library I worked at thorougly enjoyed. Douglas Wood replays Genesis- but the themes behind the allegory. God is more than what I see of Him- God can only be found in what others see of Him as well. This is true Christian community. Wood displays wonderfully the foolishness of insisting upon only my view of God- in a way that children can understand but so many adults (including myself) need to hear. And then you truly feel the tragedy of the humans, forgetting all of the care for the land that God engrained upon us. Forgetting that God is found in His creation, and that all creation is a worshipful expression to Him. When we forget about the Land, we forget about God. So in the end, "even the stones need to cry out." For creation has learned in it's turmoil to see the Inner Light in the other. Creation has been redeemed. As C.S. Lewis said, this is what makes Christianity unique among great world religions- it calls for us to become like what we are unlike, as we see God in our sister and brother who is most unlike us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1 2003
Format: Hardcover
I NEVER write reviews, but I had to write about this one!
It talks of all the different aspects of the earth and their arguments with each other over what is God. Old Turtle speaks up and proclaims that God is all the things they have said, but most importantly, GOD IS.
Old Turtle then goes on to talk about how humans are coming and are a gift. The humans do come, but they forget the gift and thereby destroy much of the earth. When they remember, they realize that if they love, they will experience the gift of God again.
This is how I want to teach my son and new baby about God. Not the politics of who is "right" or "wrong." We can all just be assured that through whatever spiritual path we are all on, we can take solace in knowing that GOD IS.
Beautiful story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lee Ann on April 7 2004
Format: Hardcover
I received this book years ago as a holiday gift from an adult friend to an adult me! However, my grand-daughter has heard this story over and over since she was 3 or 4, and it has led to many wonderful discussions about tolerance, diversity, the Creator, taking care of Mother Earth and all her children, what "God" might be like, etc. I'm not really wild about organized religion, but through repetition and gentle discourse according to her age, I've managed to convey to her a grounded understanding of spirituality to be found in nature and in everyday life.
In addition, this has become my standard newborn baby gift.
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By Ben on March 10 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a very well told and well illustrated story. Way back in the beggining of time, when all the animals, mountains, trees, winds, and waters could somehow talk to each other, they started arguing about who and what God is. Eventually, the argument got so loud that Old Turtle, who had never spoken much before, told them that God is everything, God just IS. Then he told the animals about a new creature that was coming, as a message of love from god to earth. Then People came. They forgot they were a message from God. They misused their power, and hurt each other and the earth. Then they were told to stop by a new voice. The mountain, ocean, stone, breeze, and star told them what God was. The people listened, and started to see beauty in one another and the earth. This book has beautiful water-color illustrations. The people are not well illustrated, but with water colors that is understandable. This book was written by Douglas Wood, and illustrated by Cheng-Khee Chee.
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