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TURTLE SPLASH! by Cathryn Falwell


Countdown at the Pond

by Cathryn Falwell & illustrated by Cathryn Falwell

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-029462-0
Publisher: Greenwillow

With an implied “splash,” another green-shelled turtle disappears from the scene in this pond-life counting rhyme. Beginning with ten turtles sunning themselves on a log, each is surprised by a different animal and plops into the water. “Ten / timid turtles, / lounging / in a line. / Startled by / a bullfrog . . . / Then there / are nine.” Readers can spot the animal that will startle a turtle next by studying the pictures on each page and finding the hidden creature. Falwell (It’s About Time, 1999, etc.) uses collages made from a variety of materials (explained in an author’s note) as well as leaf prints for added texture. Thoughtfully, she has included a section with instructions for the craft. In some spots the predominant colors of blue, green, and brown have a tendency to blend together and wash each other out, but the leaf prints add a nice contrast and give a sense of realism to the pictures. Because the illustrations need to be looked at closely, this might be best when shared one on one—though it’s attractive just as a read-aloud. Young children will like searching for the hidden clues and will eagerly add up the turtles on each page. Older ones will find in the appendix an opportunity to learn how the ducks, deer, mosquitoes, bullfrogs, and other animals live in this eco-system. A lovely example of multidisciplinary bookmaking showing how science, art, and literature can all connect. (Picture book. 3-7)