We’ve created a totally fun list of the best kids books about turtles and tortoises. Aren’t these fascinating creatures? Getting a peek into the lives of turtles as they scamper to survive the journey from nest to water is inspiring, and it never gets old to learn about the long life that some tortoises live — up to 250 years old!
As you can see there is a lot to learn. Not only are children’s books fun that have a turtle as a character in the story, like Franklin, but imagine what we can learn in the non-fiction books about real tortoises, like Owen. Also on the list is a fun finger puppet book called “Little Sea Turtle” for our youngest friends. If you are searching for a turtle book for preschoolers, “I’ll Follow the Moon” has beautiful watercolor illustrations that take us through the journey of a tiny turtle finding his way to the sea. It is one all ages will enjoy.
Included in our list of children’s books about turtles and tortoises are board books for the youngest readers, ages 0-2, picture books for kids 3-6 years old, and chapter books for those who are 7-10 years old.
Enjoy and let us know what books you would add to the list!
Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship - The amazing true story of the orphaned baby hippo and 130-year-old giant turtle whose remarkable friendship touched millions around the world. The inspiring true story of two great friends, a baby hippo named Owen and a 130-yr-old giant tortoise named Mzee (Mm-ZAY). When Owen was stranded after the Dec 2004 tsunami, villagers in Kenya worked tirelessly to rescue him. Then, to everyone’s amazement, the orphan hippo and the elderly tortoise adopted each other. Now they are inseparable, swimming, eating, and playing together. Adorable photos e-mailed from friend to friend quickly made them worldwide celebrities. Here is a joyous reminder that in times of trouble, friendship is stronger than the differences that too often pull us apart.
The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle - Thomas the Turtle lives with his mother and sister on Placid Pond. Many years ago his father disappeared when he entered one part of the pond, which is called the “forbidden region.” Thomas the Turtle has been told by his mother not to go to this region, but one day Thomas ventures too close and is swept over a waterfall and downstream. He struggles battling the forces of nature to survive the frightening experience. Far from home, he is determined to reunite with this family, and finally with the help of two children he succeeds. The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle stresses family values, filial obedience, adversity, curiosity, faith and determination. Parents will enjoy reading this touching story to their 5-to-9-year-old children for its exciting adventure and strong moral messages.
Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories - Dr. Seuss presents three modern fables in the rhyming favorite Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories. The collection features tales about greed (“Yertle the Turtle”), vanity (“Gertrude McFuzz”), and pride (“The Big Brag”). In no other book does a small burp have such political importance! Yet again, Dr. Seuss proves that he and classic picture books go hand in hand.
Galapagos George - This is the story of the famous Lonesome George, a giant tortoise who was the last of his species, lived to be one hundred years old, and became known as the rarest creature in the world. His story gives us a glimpse of the amazing creatures inhabiting the ever-fascinating Galápagos Islands. Renowned naturalist and bestselling author of the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves and the critically acclaimed Everglades Jean Craighead George once again introduces children to the wonders of the natural world in this incredible evolution story set in the Galápagos Islands. The back matter features key terms, a timeline, and further resources for research. Supports the Common Core State Standards.
The Sea Turtle Mystery - The Aldens are spending spring break on a beach, but they aren’t just soaking up the sun. They’re protecting an endangered species! Their job is to mark sea turtle nests so the eggs can be moved to a safe place to hatch, but someone is digging up the eggs without permission. Can the Boxcar Children figure out what’s going on and help save the sea turtles?
Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! - A fascinating look at the dangers sea turtles face and the role that humans have in helping with wildlife and ocean conservation. In this re-illustrated edition of the previously published text, author April Pulley Sayre introduces readers to the life of a sea turtle. From the tiny hatchlings being born on the shores of Florida to the turtles making their way through the sea to their journey back to lay eggs of their own years later, the reader sees the dangers that turtles must face and how humans can help. Backmatter includes Information on sea turtle conservation efforts and the seven species of sea turtles. A great introduction to ocean life cycles as well as a perfect resource for building awareness about environmental and nature conservation in and outside of the classroom.
Nate the Great and the Tardy Tortoise - These chapter books introduce beginning readers to the detective mystery genre. Perfect for the Common Core, kids can problem-solve with Nate, using logical thinking to solve mysteries! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and someone is eating the flowers in Nate the Great’s garden. A green tortoise is slowly, slowly stepping across the lawn, and Nate is slowly, slowly following him. Where does Nate’s green guest truly belong? It may take all of Nate the Great’s patience and sharp eyesight to find out slowly.
Back to School Tortoise - It’s time to go back to school. But Tortoise is worried. What if he falls down? What if he doesn’t like lunch? What if the kids are mean to him? What if he falls down, doesn’t like lunch, and the kids are mean to him? The perfect back-to-school book about being brave, with a surprise at the end!
The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise: A Novel - Brimming with charm and whimsy, this exquisite novel set in the Tower of London has the transportive qualities and delightful magic of the contemporary classics Chocolat and Amélie. Balthazar Jones has lived in the Tower of London with his loving wife, Hebe, and his 120-year-old pet tortoise for the past eight years. That’s right, he is a Beefeater (they really do live there). It’s no easy job living and working in the tourist attraction in present-day London. Among the eccentric characters who call the Tower’s maze of ancient buildings and spiral staircases home are the Tower’s Rack & Ruin barmaid, Ruby Dore, who just found out she’s pregnant; portly Valerie Jennings, who is falling for ticket inspector Arthur Catnip; the lifelong bachelor Reverend Septimus Drew, who secretly pens a series of principled erotica; and the philandering Ravenmaster, aiming to avenge the death of one of his insufferable ravens. When Balthazar is tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower walls to house the many exotic animals gifted to the Queen, life at the Tower gets all the more interesting. Penguins escape, giraffes are stolen, and the Komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives. Balthazar is in charge and things are not exactly running smoothly. Then Hebe decides to leave him and his beloved tortoise “runs” away. Filled with the humor and heart that calls to mind the delightful novels of Alexander McCall Smith, and the charm and beauty of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise is a magical, wholly original novel whose irresistible characters will stay with you long after you turn the stunning last page.
The Tortoise and the Hare - A classic retold by Bernadette Watts—one of Europe’s most recognized and beloved fairy-tale artists. Now available in paperback When Tortoise says to Hare, “I bet I can beat you in a running race!” everyone laughs. Tortoise puts one foot in front of the next. Hare stops to nibble carrot tops and cabbages. . . . Who will have the last laugh? “A fresh retelling of the old Aesop Fable so much beloved by past generations of young readers.”—Midwest Book Review
Hooray for Books! - Turtle has looked everywhere for his favorite book, but it’s nowhere to be found! Maybe his book was borrowed by Zebra, Owl, Giraffe, Elephant, or Lion. As Turtle searches, his friends offer to share their own favorite stories, but other books just won’t do. Or is it time for Turtle to try something different? A tribute to books, reading, and the joy of sharing stories with others from Brian Won, the author/illustrator of Hooray for Hat! and Hooray for Today!.
Giraffe Problems - Can you guess what’s making this giraffe self-conscious? Could it be . . . HIS ENORMOUS NECK?? Yes, it’s exactly that–how on earth did you figure it out? Cyrus the giraffe can’t understand why his neck is as long and bendy and, well, ridiculous as it is. No other animal has a neck this absurd. He’s tried disguising it, dressing it up, strategically hiding it behind bushes–honestly, anything you can think of, he’s tried. Just when he has exhausted his neck-hiding options and is about to throw in the towel, a turtle swoops in (well, ambles in, very slowly) and helps him understand that his neck has a purpose, and looks excellent in a bow tie.
Franklin Plays the Game - Franklin and his friends love to play soccer, even if they never succeed in scoring a goal, but when they learn to work together, their playing improves.
See You Later, Alligator - A departing tortoise has his bags packed and is almost ready to set out on an adventure, but he can’t leave until he says good-bye to each of his animal friends. The tortoise stops for every last timid mouse and bumblebee, shouting his rhyming good-byes, making you wonder if, perhaps, he’s stalling the start of his trip. His animal friends appear startled as he suddenly pops up on each page to say adieu—especially the perplexed rhinoceros the tortoise mistakes for a unicorn! With each farewell, the tortoise’s good-byes get sillier and more creative. When will the good-byes end and the adventure begin? See You Later, Alligator is a silly story with bright, engaging illustrations and expressive, rhyming text that children will want to read—and giggle through—again and again. Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Splish Splash! - Dragonflies zip zip zip and frogs croakity croak while bare feet splish splash in this board book all about the sounds of the river. Each spread features a touch and feel element that creates the sound described in the text. With beautiful illustrations, interesting textures and fun sounds, this highly interactive format is certain to tickle the senses.
Tug of War - Financial Times: ‘gorgeously vibrant’ Tortoise is on the hunt for a friend, but only encounters huge Elephant and Hippo, who are mean about his small size and wrinkly skin. But although Tortoise isn’t big, he is certainly brainy! He sets out to show Elephant and Hippo that biggest doesn’t mean best by challenging them to a tug of war. They sneeringly accept… but little do they know that they have really agreed to fight each other! A funny, heartwarming retelling of this well-known folk tale about brains vs brawn with beautiful, stylish illustrations. A special book that teaches that wit and wisdom are more important than size and physical strength, and friendship is what matters most.
Who Is in the Egg? - Illustrated with breathtaking collage artwork, this beautiful nonfiction book encourages young children to play a guessing game and figure out what creature is growing inside each egg.
In the nest, in the swamp, in a tunnel underground, there are eggs . . . with something hatching inside. Discover some of the baby animals that begin their life in an egg. It isn’t just chicks! Along with the birds, there are turtles, alligators, penguins, and even a platypus. Stunning all-collage art by Alexandra Milton (Call Me Gorgeous! and Good Luck, Baby Owls) and simple yet informative text make this book special and surprising. Each entry has a fun fact about the featured animal.
Croc & Turtle: Snow Fun! - Croc & Turtle may be different, but they’re the best of friends! This adorable winter-themed story will warm your heart, and is perfect for fans of Penguin and Pinecone. Croc and Turtle are best friends! It’s a wintry day, so Croc and Turtle are ready for snow fun! But Croc likes outside activities and Turtle likes inside activities. What happens when best friends have very different ideas of fun? In this new humorous and heartwarming adventure, Croc and Turtle navigate the ups and downs of friendship.
Esio Trot - From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG! Mr. Hoppy is in love with his neighbor, Mrs. Silver; but she is in love with someone else—Alfie, her pet tortoise. With all her attention focused on Alfie, Mrs. Silver doesn’t even know Mr. Hoppy is alive. And Mr. Hoppy is too shy to even ask Mrs. Silver over for tea. Then one day Mr. Hoppy comes up with a brilliant idea to get Mrs. Silver’s attention. If Mr. Hoppy’s plan works, Mrs. Silver will certainly fall in love with him. After all, everyone knows the way to a woman’s heart is through her tortoise.
The Little Cow and the Turtle - A little cow befriends three hoboes who feed her honey, two little boys who feed her apples, and a turtle on a valiant journey to the lake.
You're Weird! - Even though Turtle thinks Rabbit’s skateboarding style in scuba gear is strange and Rabbit thinks Turtle’s crazy eating habits are odd, the two unlikely companions eventually find a middle ground in their weirdness in order to become the best of friends!
A Turtle's Dangerous Journey - Animals face scary challenges every day! These narrative nonfiction books focus on describing the changes to animals habitats that affect the animal’s way of life-or even puts their species at risk of dying out! Readers will learn about the reasons for changes in habitats that affect animals and small steps they can take to help protect them. A turtle is making her way across a highway to find a nesting spot. She avoids being run over, only to find trash in the nesting grounds which will attract predators to her eggs. Will the turtle survive this dangerous journey? This narrative nonfiction title includes a range map, notes on how to help turtles, further resources, and a glossary.
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