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The Foolish Tortoise (1985)

by Richard Buckley

Other authors: Eric Carle (Illustrator)

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2,019168,046 (3.94)3
A tortoise realizes the need for a shell after several scary encounters.

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A tortoise casts aside the safety of his shell to experience the world in a new way only to be beaten down by his fear of the dangers and chaos he finds.

So the awful lesson is never change -- embrace the status quo -- or you'll regret everything. What a foolish tortoise. What a foolish author.

Nice pictures though. ( )
  villemezbrown | Jan 22, 2023 |
I really like this story illustrated by Eric Carle. Eric Carle is known for his collage style art, which is a skill he utilizes in this particular book. The Scholastic Readability Level of this story is PreK-2nd grade. It features the life of a tortoise that abandons his shell because he is tired of being slow. Over time, he realizes that without his shell he is vulnerable to the weather, animals, and other dangers. Additionally, he is not that much faster than before. In the end, he realizes that he misses his shell, which provided him with safety and shelter. I love the moral of the story and it is a fine example of rhyme. I would have students pick out rhyming examples in the story throughout and create rhyming pairs of their own at the end. ( )
  Katie_Morgan | Apr 27, 2020 |
There are two reasons why I love this book: the language and the illustrations by Eric Carle.
The language of this book is great because they rhyme. The pattern of the rhyming makes the book enjoyable and interesting. One example of this rhyming is “Took off his large and heavy shell and left it lying where it fell.” I liked that this book rhymes because it makes it fun to read. The language makes sense to the text while also being exciting. The author did a good job at using rhyming while also making the story progress. The language of the story makes it exciting, but it is also organized well.
The second reason I love this book is because of the pictures. The illustrations are detailed and fun. The illustrations are very colorful and are large on the pages which makes them exciting. They enhance the story well because each illustration details the text on the page. For example, when the book talks about a large snake creeping on the turtle, the illustration of the snake takes up two pages and is hissing. The style of the illustrations also fits the style of the written text. The text is upbeat and artistic and the pictures are, too. Eric Carle used his artistic style to accommodate the artistic attributes of the language used by the author. The illustrations play a good part in making this story great.
The main idea of this story is to accept who you are. Since the tortoise wants to become something it is not, a tortoise without a shell, it can teach readers to be happy with who they are. Once the tortoise does leave the shell behind, he runs into all different situations that he wishes he had his shell. For example, he was cold in the bad weather and had no protection from the hornet. By the end of the book, the tortoise realizes he is better with his shell and even though he is not fast, his shell has many benefits. This can teach readers to be happy with who they are and not to wish they were different. The tortoise teaches a good lesson about accepting yourself and using your faults as something positive. ( )
  AmandaBuchek | Mar 7, 2018 |
FANTASY: (age range: primary)
This book is a good example of fantasy because it uses magic. A tortoise would never be able to detach and explore around without his shell, let alone have the thought that it was too slow. He never would have adventured around and realized that he was bare and needed his shell back. However, by using this magic in the book, it teaches us a very valuable lesson, that the things that we have/don't like about ourselves are often the very things that make us who we are.
  CamillaBean14 | Mar 1, 2017 |
turtle decides to take off his shell and be fast like the other animals but he becomes scared and spends half the time hiding under other objects anyway. eventually he decides to put back on his shell.
1 book
  TUCC | Oct 24, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Buckley, RichardAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carle, EricIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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A tortoise, tired of being slow,
Impatient to get up and go,
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A tortoise realizes the need for a shell after several scary encounters.

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