Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a fantastic story!
Every Turtle Counts
by Sara Hoagland Hunter
Illustrated by Susan Spellman
36 pages – ages 5+
Published by Peter E. Randall on April 1, 2014
Theme/Topic- Turtles/ Autism
Genre- Realistic Fiction
Opening and Synopsis-
From the inside jacket:
“When seven-year-old Mimi discovers a frozen sea turtle on the beach, she doesn’t know she has stumbled upon one of the rarest animals on earth. All she knows is she must save it. Based on the true plight of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, born on just one beach in Mexico and stranded each year in the hook of Cape Cod, Every Turtle Counts is the story of an autistic child who, with the help of a devoted parent, rescues both the turtle and herself.”
First line – “There were others who walked the beach that day, but only one who stopped to look.“
Why I liked this book-
I really liked the double meaning in this book. The book is titled “Every Turtle Counts” but it could also be “Every Person Counts.” Mimi never gives up on a frozen turtle she finds on the beach even though adults around her are telling her it’s dead and to get rid of it. Mimi’s caring mom listens to what Mimi is saying and calls the Audubon Society to help. Mimi is autistic and has trouble with people being close to her and also has trouble talking, but the book explains it all in a very kid-friendly way. The illustrations are wonderful and really add to the telling of the story. I like the message in the book about how caring for an animal can help people (disabled or not). Besides the great story, I learned a lot about Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles! I never heard of them before. There is an author’s not in the back of the book to explain about the turtles even more. The migration of the turtles is amazing!
Activities and Resources-
HERE is a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle fact sheet from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
HERE is a great article from National Geographic about Kemp’s ridley turtles.
HERE is a “Kid’s Times” newsletter from NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service explaining about Kemp’s ridley turtles.
Dr. Temple Grandin Visit Dr. Temple Grandin’s website and learn about animals and their benefit with people with autism click HERE.
Check out the book’s trailer!
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!