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In 1999, 53 percent of children ages 3 to 5 were read to daily by a family member, the same as in 1993 after increasin... More

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Author: Brooke Keith

Illustrator: Mary Bausman

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Publisher: Warner Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Chrissie, a turtle, spent her days wishing she was as talented as the other animals in the forest. She dreamed she ran speedy like a mouse, or climb trees like a squirrel. When she looked at herself, she saw an empty shell. She asked God to make her special, and God explained that he already had. Still, Chrissie couldn't see it. How would she ever feel fulfilled? This is an allegory to help children understand that it's not what they DO but who they are that is important.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Age of Child: Read with an 8-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter felt sad for Chrissie, she immediately got the message and tried to "talk" to her to explain it all. She loved the illustrations - especially the turtle with the cottontail!

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a lovely story with universal appeal. At first I was afraid it was going to be too wordy since we were reading it on the computer, but it worked out fine. The illustrations are gorgeous ... this is a book I would definitely want a hard copy of.

Pros: Children will immediately relate to Chrissie. Their emotions will range from giggling at the imagery to sympathy for her feelings of loneliness.

Cons: Don't over-react to the reference to God. It is a general presentation and the story is representative of all faiths.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. The story is universal and will grow with the child's understanding of him/herself. The illustrations are beautiful, too. Whether you use the word "God" or "creator" it will appeal to all children.


Educational Themes: This is a story about self-esteem, confidence, and acceptance. As kids get older, it can be used to help them understand the idea of being true to yourself and recognizing how their talents help others. This is an excellent choice for sharing with all audiences.

Notes: The Reading Tub, Inc. asked the publisher for the opportunity to review a PDF version of this title via The request was for the purpose of reviewing the book.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, Christian, Judaism, self worth

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2010

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