Turtles are a common theme for unit studies at school and home, and besides turtles are SUPER cute. Or maybe that’s just me thinking that. As we worked our way through My Father’s World themes for Kindergarten, one was turtles. I scoured my library for all of our favorites to create this Turtle booklist.
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Suggested books from My Father’s World Turtle booklist
The Tortoise and the Hare- they suggest the Janet Arnold edition, but since this is a fairly popular story, you can pretty easily find any version to tell, OR tell it yourself with your kids and maybe even make it into a popsicle stick theater!
Turtle picture booklist
For my turtle picture booklist, I stayed away from any books that had turtles wearing clothes or were part of a series, they didn’t fit what I was trying for here. So you won’t see any Franklin books on this list.
- Turtle Splash– was super popular, it’s a countdown book and was very well done. This is the book where it seemed like my kids finally clicked with counting. I think we read this one a couple of times.
- Turtle Day– follows the adventures of a young turtle in a pond
- Turtle and the Monkey– I did however include a few folktales, so this is a Philippine folk tale with the turtle “helping” the monkey get bananas
- Box Turtle at Long Pond– this is another book that feels like a nonfiction book but is in fiction books
- Turtle Bay– An adorable story of a young boy who befriends an older man and learns about the turtles at the beach in Japan
- Turtle Turtle Watch Out-A story talking about the dangers sea turtles go through every day
- Yertle the Turtle– I love this book, it’s actually what inspired the turtle craft we did. Yertle is the king of the turtles and wants to be king of more. I also found at the library a video version of it, but the kids weren’t thrilled with that.
- Turtle Island– this is another book that is clearly fantastic because the turtle is big enough to provide a home for a frog, bear, owl, and cat, but it’s still cute.
- Bear and Turtle and the Great Lake Race– is kind of a variation on The Hare and the Tortoise, except this time the turtle wins through ingenuity. I thought it was super cute and fun. (also no longer at my local library, so is no longer on the printable turtle booklist, I also apparently went through my list backward, because I’m writing this note after The Foolish Tortoise note)
- The Foolish Tortoise– This is a good book for teaching the lesson about being content with who you are. The kids had fun reading this one and afterward found blankets to pretend they were turtles. It was super cute. (this is not at my local library, so is not on the printable booklist)
Turtle Nonfiction booklist
- The Fisherman and the Turtle– This is an Aztec tale! I haven’t really read many of those, so it stood out to me
- One Tiny Turtle– I wanted to like this one more than I did. It didn’t quite work for me, and I’m not sure why. It didn’t seem to catch the kids’ attention either so it wasn’t just me. It follows a sea turtle’s life from being a young turtle to having babies herself. It was just odd.
- Watch Me Grow Turtle– This has gorgeous pictures and is well worth it for the pictures alone
- The life cycle of a turtle– This is an older book, as evidenced by the fact it’s out of print, but presents the life cycle in a nice concise manner
- Do You Really Want a Turtle?– This looks at what it is like to own a pet turtle, which is a super helpful book if your kids is interested in a new pet
- Sea Turtles– Gail Gibbons again, and I still like her books. She just does a great job of providing good facts and making it somewhat interesting.
Printable turtle booklist
If you live in the Austin area, these are the books for the Round Rock library nicely organized by call number. You can find it on the subscriber page which you get the password to when you sign up for my newsletter.