TALES OF MYRTLE THE TURTLE by Keith Robertson

TALES OF MYRTLE THE TURTLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Recorded by young Gloria, these are the reminiscences of her Aunt Myrtle and though Myrtle professes to know a lot about the odd ball human race -- mostly secondhand from her husband Herman who won pie baking contests, climbed the Matterhorn, flew balloons and attended weddings -- her memories often fall short of the oracular wit one would expect from a turtle who has resided all her life on the Princeton campus. Myrtle's explanations of the animal world -- how an ancestor known as Old Smooth and Ugly acquired the first turtle shell through laziness -- how a woodchuck named Alexander was pushed out of his burrow for having garlic breath and accidentally founded Groundhog Day -- have more pith. On the other hand, Herman's encounters with people seem fairly gratuitous and are never as hilarious as Gloria and cousin Witherspoon seem to find them. Robertson has stretched a good idea thin and, while the combination of Myrtle's penchant for odd facts and word derivations with intermittent slapstick generates a certain momentum, Myrtle's tales too often seem to be going nowhere -- sluggishly.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1974
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Viking