I reviewed four books in the Tortoise’s New Adventure series, written by J.D. Parsons and illustrated by Tere. These are the continued adventures of the tortoise who beat the hare in a race. Although not too fable-like, they do teach lessons about friendship and getting along.
This story is not too similar to an Aesop’s fable, but the author makes it clear that the titular tortoise is the famous tortoise who won the race against the hare. He doesn’t race in this story, but he does play soccer on the beach with some sea turtles. Children will learn the difference between tortoises and turtles — something some adults may not remember — and also learn a more important lesson about friendship and acceptance. It’s obvious that some children have a lot of difficulty with feeling different from others or others being different from them. One sea turtle is nervous with the tortoise at first, but the tortoise and sea turtles then accept each other’s differences and realize they can still have fun together. Illustrations are very charming and will please animal-loving children.
Teddy T. Tortoise meets Eddy the Elephant. Eddy recognizes Teddy as the tortoise who beat the hare in a race. Teddy recognizes Eddy as a circus elephant who is now in the wild. Illustrations show other African animals. Teddy is slightly anxious about the elephant’s large size, but Eddy is able to reassure him that “elephants are steady on their feet.” Teddy the Tortoise plays a game with each animal he meets in the series, and, in this book, he plays cards with the elephant, which the elephant claims to always carry with him. It’s a sweet children’s book, promoting friendship and kindness.
This time, Teddy T. Tortoise makes a new friend when he helps a cat down out of a tree. What kind of a cat is it? It is a tortoiseshell cat, of course. The cat then introduces the tortoise to what seems an unlikely friend for a cat … a dog. The cat states to the turtle that it’s not that remarkable for a cat and dog to be friends and that the dog was friendly all the time. “He’s just that type,” says the cat. They wander around near a koi pond, and, since this is a book about friendship, the cat is only interested in seeing and not in eating any of the pretty fish. The cat teaches Teddy a new game, cat’s cradle. What else would a cat play? The story promotes friendship and helping others.
This time, Teddy T. Tortoise is in the rainforest and meets a chameleon. The chameleon must be a little like a mood ring, changing colors with his mood. I enjoyed the pretty illustrations of the chameleon, because he was often in my favorite purple hues. The chameleon introduces the tortoise to various animal friends in the rainforest. Children can learn about different types of animals and where they live from this book, but, hopefully, they will also learn about getting along with others and good sportsmanship. The chameleon, tortoise, and other animals eventually play hide and seek, and, of course, the chameleon is very good at this game.
At the end of the book, children are challenged to find all of the heart shapes in the illustrations. Teddy has a couple of hearts on his shell, and, even as an adult, I had to look through the book again to find all of the semi-hidden hearts.
You can buy The Tortoise’s New Adventure series on Amazon. See the links below.