Klee feels like a lost moon as crowds of relatives orbit around her new brother's crib. But one relative, Uncle Fishtank Hal, understands how she feels. He brings her a present, a Red-eared Slider turtle. ""She ain't a gift for a baby,"" he says. ""She's too big and would only pinch it."" The turtle becomes Klee's anchor when her father takes off for an extended job away from home, leaving her mother preoccupied with the baby and house. But when cold weather comes, the turtle makes an escape, and Klee finds it in the compost heap, stone cold, its head and feet pulled into its shell. Assuming it is dead, she sadly buries it deep in the pile and retreats to the house, and through a long snowy winter gradually warms to her little brother. In the spring, both children are surprised and delighted when the turtle emerges alive and well from the steaming compost pile. This lovely, unusual book elicits interest on many levels. The lyrical text compactly weaves human emotions, the cycle of the seasons, and the phenomenon of hibernation into a coherent whole. Fluid watercolor illustrations in glowing jewel tones ably capture both changing seasons and changing moods.