The Tale of a Turtle Who Learned a Good Lesson
by William K. Zimmer
illustrated by Judith A. Zimmer-Baker
Being new to, and still learning about the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling, I am still learning to judge the difference between a "living book" and twaddle. The Tale of a Turtle Who Learned a Good Lesson by William K. Zimmer is a simple story about a turtle named Tobias, or Toby for short, who has a hard time accepting his life as a turtle, until he makes friends with a toad who helps him see his true fortunes.
To me, aside from the "lesson learned," the book's best quality is that the author doesn't use a limited vocabulary or talk down to his young readers. Instead he uses quality language and descriptive imagery to paint a picture and help you visualize the scene without the illustrations. This is what makes me inclined to think we can leave this book on our shelves as a book that leans closer to the "living" side of the scale.
That's not to say that Judith A. Zimmer-Baker didn't earn her dues as the illustrator. The book is sprinkled with lovely illustrations that perfectly compliment the story. Various animals are prominently featured and their distinct personalities show through.
The book is actually separated into several short segments, which makes it perfect for short bedtime readings. It is recommended for ages 4-8, which I feel is appropriate, since Elliott promptly asked me to continue reading "the turtle book" at our bedtime reading tonight.
**I received a complimentary copy of the Tale of a Turtle Who Learned a Good Lesson by William K. Zimmer as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team, in exchange for my honest review. You can visit the Dorrance Bookstore to learn how to become a member of the Book Review Team.