Perfect Picture Book Friday! Every Turtle Counts by Sara Hoagland Hunter

16 May

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! 
turtlecountsEvery 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!

48 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book Friday! Every Turtle Counts by Sara Hoagland Hunter”

  1. itsybitsymom May 16, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    Thanks Erik – this looks fabulous. Adding it to my library list today!


  2. Cathy Ballou Mealey May 16, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    Great review Erik and wonderful resource list! I like the pairing of two special things – endangered turtles and kids with autism. Adding to my list of books to find!


  3. Joanne Roberts May 16, 2014 at 8:28 am #

    All that, and gorgeous illustrations too. Thanks for a great recommendation.


  4. julie rowan zoch May 16, 2014 at 8:51 am #

    Another perfect and very pretty book for the classroom. When pet turtles are sick, they don’t really have a way of showing it like other pets, which may seem like an odd random fact I am throwing in here, but it causes me to worry about the pet turtles of the world too.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 16, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

      I never really thought about pet turtles getting sick. I wonder if a regular vet can treat them? That does make you worry…
      Clyde had a tumor removed on Tuesday. We just heard today it wasn’t cancerous – phew!


  5. Claudine @ CarryUsOff Books May 16, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    I’ve always enjoyed PBs on sea turtles, and I like how that double-meaning sounds.


  6. heylookawriterfellow May 16, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    This sounds like a wonderful book. Great review, Erik!


  7. Patricia Tilton May 16, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    What a wonderful true story about an endangered turtle. I’m not familiar with Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles and was intrigued. I’ve noticed in so many stories that so many autistic children bond with animals. What a special story about hope. Great choice!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 16, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

      This story is really special. The ending of the story is very nice (I didn’t tell what it is, but it really is great). 🙂


      • Patricia Tilton May 16, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

        Guess I’ll have to get the book to find out. I have a soft spot for sea turtles. Just returned from Florida and the eggs were hatching along the beaches near us.


      • thiskidreviewsbooks May 20, 2014 at 6:55 am #

        Whoa! That is so cool! 😀


  8. Michelle Isenhoff May 16, 2014 at 11:26 am #

    This one sounds very sweet.


  9. Joanna May 16, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Erik this sounds like a golden find. I love the two parallel stories and themes!


  10. LovableLobo May 16, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    I love books that teach kids about nature. Thanks for sharing this book about turtles. Super review, SuperKid!


  11. Genevieve Petrillo May 16, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    Sweet choice, E. From the last picture, I’m thinking there’s a happy ending. I hope so. I like a happy ending…..

    Love and licks,


  12. Catherine Johnson May 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    That sounds wonderful, Erik and I love the illustrations. I could learn a lot from those.


  13. Susanna Leonard Hill May 16, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    Wow! This looks fantastic, Erik! I really want to read it. And I’m thrilled to be adding it to our list!


  14. Wendy Greenley May 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    I am starting a special list of picture books for endangered species day! Thanks for pointing this book out, Erik.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 16, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

      I reviewed another great turtle book a while ago called Moon Over Bioko – The Turtles of Bioko Island By Heidi Rader. I recommend that one too, if you are looking. 🙂


  15. ontheplumtree May 16, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    This sounds really special on all counts!


  16. Stacy S. Jensen May 16, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    This looks like a great book on so many levels. I’ll see if I can find one.


  17. writersideup May 17, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    This cover is so soft and sweet—such tenderness on her face 🙂 What you mentioned in your summary—The book is titled “Every Turtle Counts” but it could also be “Every Person Counts.”—is SUCH an important message to impart in children’s books. Along with Temple Grandin (amazed by her!), I’d say Sara Hoagland Hunter casts the light of another shining star on Autism!


  18. berylreichenberg May 17, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    This looks like a delightful children’s story. Yes, we all count.


  19. berylreichenberg May 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    Reblogged this on Beryl Reichenberg and commented:
    I haven’t read this book, but it looks like a delightful story. We must remember that Everyone Counts. Beryl


  20. Sue Heavenrich May 18, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    this looks like a wonderful book. I love stories about sea turtles… and people who help them.


  21. Sara Hunter May 21, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Let me just say, before it’s Friday again and another perfect picture book has taken my place, that Erik, you and your fans have MADE MY WEEK!! Thank you for totally getting EVERY TURTLE COUNTS. It’s been gratifying to tour with my wonderful niece, raising awareness of both sea turtles and folks on the autism spectrum. I hope I meet all of you sweet, enthusiastic writers and readers in my travels! Love, Sara Hoagland Hunter


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 21, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

      Thank you Ms. Hunter! Your book is awesome, and I really appreciate you taking the time to comment on my post. 🙂


  22. readingwithrhythm May 23, 2014 at 12:24 am #

    What a lovely, touching story! Thanks for sharing!


  23. Myra GB June 9, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    The book trailer looks really nice, and it does sound like a very sweet book, thanks for sharing it, Erik.


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