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Old Turtle And The Broken Truth Hardcover – October 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 620L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1st ed edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439321093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439321099
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 9.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From the author of the award-winning legend of peace, Old Turtle, comes a soulful new tale about the wise old turtle who advocates listening to the "language of breezes...learning lessons from stones and animals and trees and stars." In this story, a truth falls from the stars, breaking in half when it lands. Crow, Fox, Coyote, and Raccoon, each pick up this piece of truth but discard it because of its rough edges and broken nature. But when a human being finds it, noting the words "You Are Loved" written on it, he and his people cherish it as their most important possession. Time passes, and jealousy, fear, and anger rise up in the people who hold this Great Truth, as well as in those who do not have it. The world begins to suffer. Finally, it's up to a little girl to seek understanding and a solution to the woes of the world.

Old Turtle and the Broken Truth's new age allegory is exquisitely wrought, in word and in picture. Douglas Wood's prose is the timeless language of fables, meshing perfectly with Jon Muth 's radiant watercolors for an experience anyone seven to one hundred and seven can appreciate. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up-A truth falls from the sky and breaks in half. "One of the pieces blazed off through the night sky,/and the other fell to earth in the beautiful land." Several animals discard the broken piece because they feel that "there is something missing." When a human finds it, he is delighted, for it says, "You are loved." He reveals this truth to others "whose faces look like his." They begin to ignore the earth's beauty, to fear those who do not "share their truth," and to fight continually with those "others" who wish to possess it. Finally, a girl who embarks on a difficult journey to seek the advice of Old Turtle helps the people see that there is not just one truth, but "truths all around us, and within us" and that the second half of the broken truth is "And so are they." Muth's watercolor-and-ink illustrations powerfully reflect the moods evoked by the lyrical text. The humans are depicted as black, Giacometti-like silhouettes surrounded by darkness above and below. These same people form a rainbow-hued chain as they begin to see themselves in one another. The beautiful text and illustrations printed on wonderfully thick paper make a lovely package, and while the message, similar to Mem Fox's Feathers and Fools (Harcourt, 1996), is a difficult one for young children to grasp, it is sure to spark discussion among older students.
Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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The watercolor illustrations are as beautiful as the tale.
Ginna Brewbaker
Overall, I think the entire world would do good to read this book and take the message to heart.
Jennifer Klingler
Then, when your child is older, this book will be waiting for them!
Shanshad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Having never heard of or read "Old Turtle", I am not sure WHY I was compelled to look at this book while at the book store today. Perhaps it was the awesome watercolor on the cover..? At any rate, I sat and read the entire book. I remember looking up twice to see if anyone noticed how choked up I was getting - NOT the reaction I was expecting out of myself, but then again, I wasn't expecting to sit down and read one of the most eloquent, beautiful stories I've ever read. I immediately purchased it for an environmentalist/animal rights activist friend of mine, a brilliant girl with so much passion and ability to change the world, who of course I was reminded of by the little girl in the story. This book so amazingly sums up so many of the problems in our world and collective conscience, and so brilliantly pulls them all together into one fundamental flaw in our thinking, whether it's our ignorant views towards animals, nature, or the middle-east, etc. And it offers hope. I can't wait to give it to my friend!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Julie Jordan Scott on March 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book because I love turtles and I was intrigued about what on Earth (or anywhere, for that matter!) the Broken Truth might be....
Through Douglas Wood's narrative, I was taken to a land where every stone was a teacher and every breeze a language, where every lake was a mirror and every tree a ladder to the stars.....
And then in a brief moment, the sight of the Broken Truth falling to the ground in an especially poignant watercolor by illustrator Jon Muth.
I found the unfolding story to be told gently and with great care. As one other reader noted, it echoes so clearly many of the challenges which are inherent in humankind today.
And then, on the other hand, I am very familiar with this place where every stone is a teacher, every breeze a language, every lake a mirror and every tree a ladder to the stars.... Very worthy read... and very worthy of sharing with children and grown children everywhere.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Shanshad VINE VOICE on February 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Once in a land faraway, a truth fell from the sky and broke in half . . . and so begins the powerful fable told in lyrical words by Douglas Wood, accompanied by the evocative watercolor art of Jon J. Muth. Compared to many picture books, this volume appears subdued and perhaps more than a little daunting for book shoppers. But you know what they say about judging a book by its cover . . .

The story woven into these pages is straight forward enough. Mankind has got it wrong because they only have half the truth. Finding the broken truth that proclaims "You are loved" the people of this fable immediately recognize how special and precious that truth is. But, like so many things, the statement of truth becomes an issue who is loved and who is not. The story follows the progression of people as they fall further and further from the natural world and the simple truths all around them in pursuit of one half of a broken truth. Wars break out, and the world is a disillusioned, darkened place. Bring into this a young girl who sees differently, and goes on a quest to find the missing part of the truth. The conclusion isn't exactly surprising, given the tone of the text-that mankind is missing the point and needs to stop the fear, the hate and the misunderstanding that have become common currency. It's a good story, a powerful message, even if a bit simplistic. But it's not necessarily going to be a picture book for younger children. The tale at times becomes overlong, and the messages and themes are very mature ones-and may go over the heads of a young audience.

What really makes this book worthwhile, though, is the artwork. Brilliant watercolor images that are worthy of being framed and hung on the wall. Jon J.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ginna Brewbaker on October 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This story of a broken truth and the secret to peace and happiness is a remarkable tale for children and adults. Children may not grasp the full meaning of the story, but they may appreciate that it is a child who helps the world. Adults will find that the simple truth gives them chills. The watercolor illustrations are as beautiful as the tale.
I bought this book for my friend's birthday. Once you read it, you, too, will want to share it with those around you.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert Cannon on September 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In an age of religious extremism, where every little group is convinced that it is the holder of the Truth, and every other group is mortally and sinfully wrong, this book presents an opportunity for discussion with your children. It does not answer what The Truth is (well maybe minimally). It discusses what it means to fervantly believe in a "broken truth" an incompete truth, that in the end puts you at odds with everyone else. It is an excellent lead in to the discussion of how it could be that human war over Truth (as if Truth needs assistance from Humans and guns).
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In this sequel to the beloved "Old Turtle," the people of the Earth are living in peace until they discover a powerful truth that gives them strength and happiness. The result is that the Earth is soon full of suffering and war until one little girl seeks out Old Turtle, who tells her that what the people do not realize is that the great "truth" is broken and incomplete. It is then up to the little girl to travel back to the world and pass on the precious piece of wisdom that will provide the people with the whole truth.
While I certainly like the idea of a "broken truth" as a metaphor for explaining why so much goes so terribly wrong in the world in which we live, I had to admit that I was rather disappointed by the revelation of what were the two halves of the broken truth. The completed message is certainly worthwhile, and an important one for everyone to appreciate and understand, but I am not sure why half of that truth (the first half in this case), would create a world of war and suffering. However, young readers will not be sidetracked by such practical concerns and should find the message of "Old Turtle and the Broken Truth" to be something that meets their expectations. Douglas Wood's story is complimented by watercolors by Jon J. Muth.
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