Friday, February 28, 2020
Run, Sea Turtle, Run
by Stephen R. Swinburne
32 pages; ages 4 - 9
Millbrook Press, 2020
theme: animals, nature, growing up
Can you hear me? Scritch, scratch.
Told from a sea turtle’s point of view, we see the turtle hatch. We follow her while she and her siblings dig through the sand. And we watch her scoot, scurry, and dash to the ocean. Someday, that sea turtle will return – to lay eggs of her own.
What I like about this book: I love the language and all those verbs: climb, crawl, scoot, dash … fly! Yes, sea turtles fly – at least that’s what it looks like underwater.
I love the photos. They take you so close to sea turtle hatchlings that you can see individual grains of sand clinging to their shells and faces. And those faces – so cute!
And – there is Back Matter! Author Steve Swinburne includes additional information about the sea turtle’s life cycle and six ways you can help sea turtles. There are also book- and website- suggestions for curious young naturalists.
This is Steve’s third book about sea turtles, so I had to ask him One Question:
Archimedes: Why did you decide to write this book in first person, from the turtle’s point of view?
Steve: I guess I just can’t get enough of these amazing critters. I was inspired by Guillaume Feuillet’s up-close and personal photographs of leatherback hatchlings breaking free of the nest and dashing to the sea. He was in the right place at the right time. As you know, most hatchlings get down to the sea under the cover of darkness because there are fewer predators. How fortunate he was able to take these photographs in such beautiful light.
As the bulk of the images are very tight shots of the hatchlings, the text felt like it had to be in first person. I wanted the hatchling making the journey to tell the story, to tell their story. By choosing first person POV, I think the reader comes along on the hatchling’s journey. I rely on active verbs to show the journey: “I scoot and scurry” “I smell the salty breeze” “I wriggle into the sea”
I also wanted this to be a great read-aloud. I can almost imagine a teacher reading the book to a class of 1st graders. I’m hoping the text and photographs hooks them right into the story, the beginning, middle and end.
Beyond the Books:
Learn more about Leatherback sea turtles here.
Steve doesn’t just write books about turtles, he sings about them. Check out this tune over at You Tube.
Write a story, draw a picture, or make up a song about a wild animal you care about.
Steve is a member of #STEAMTeam2020. You can find out more about him at his website.
Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.