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Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in avariety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, your child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute.
To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a young child. Yertle the Turtle was one of her picks.
This book has three stories in it, each with the same theme: Making Yourself More Self-Important Is the Wrong Direction!
Those who are familiar with Dr. Seuss's works during World War II as a political cartoonist will recognize the Yertle the Turtle theme as part of his satire of fascist dictators....
Your child will meet a lot of bossy people in her or his life, and this book can help prepare the way for understanding that one must assert one's rights or be trampled on. The child who is a natural leader can also learn the lesson of not abusing others. This story is a fundamental one for a democracy and should be read by every child. You will want to discuss applications of the lesson, as well, with your child.
The drawings are very funny and will keep your child laughing throughout.
Gertrude McFuss is about the dangers of envy. She was a girl-bird with the smallest plain tail ever. She had just one droopy-drop feather. Her friend, Lolla-Lee-Lou, had two feathers . . . both of which were larger. Gertrude decided she must has two also....
Your child will undoubtedly develop some envy of another child at this age. This story can help you point out the dangers of envy, and the very real drawbacks of getting what you want in many cases. So if your child decides this story is funny (and he or she will), you can then switch over to examples relating to clothing, toys and so forth in the child's own life.
The Big Brag is about a rabbit who competes with a bear to see which animal is the best....
This story is obviously focused on the importance of letting your deeds speak for you. Children like to get into squabbles like this about their potential and ability, and your reading of this story can help avoid that.
These timeless lessons should be irresistible for your child!
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on September 4, 2003
Yertle the turtle is a great book on leadership. It teaches you how NOT to be a leader. Yertle ordered the other turtles to pile up in order that he could be on top and be "king of all that I see." In the end the turtles collapsed and Yertle was back on earth with the rest of the turtles.
We see so many leaders that are like Yertle. Climbing all over others to get to the top. They often take the big fall much as Yertle did.
True leaders will develop those who work for them. The other "turtles" will elevate the leader to the top creating a sound foundation to allow the leader to stay at the top.
Don't be like Yertle.
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on September 28, 2000
This was the book that helped me learn how to read before entering school. My mother can attest to the fact that it was my favorite throughout my childhood. Now, as an adult in graduate school, I still reflect upon the lessons taught by good ol' Dr. Suess. Thank you.
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Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories is amongst Seuss' best works. The stories are poignant. They are all great Read-a-Louds, and they have great rhymes.

The first of the three stories is Yertle the Turtle. It's about a king turtle that decides that his pond is not kingdom enough. He orders his subjects -- other turtles -- to stack themselves so that he can see further; his assumption being that he is the king of all he surveys.

It's actually very amusing to see how many ways there are to interpret this story. A quick trip over to will show you that people view Yertle as everything from simple bossy-boots, to a stand in for Hitler or Stalin. And far be it for me to argue that they aren't correct. And, in fact, this is the power of this story. That it can be understood from different perspectives, so that children can 'grow into' various interpretations.

Personally, my first thought was that Yertle was like the British Aristocracy, while the lowly turtle Mac (at the bottom of the stack) was the American Colonies.

The second story is "Gertrude McFuzz". Gertrude is a bird that is suffering from jealousy. She sees La-La Lee Lou and wants a grand tale like her. In the end though, she comes to appreciate what she has.

The final story continues with the theme of humility and is entitled, "The Big Brag".

The Accelerated Reading designation for this book is 3.3 which means that your average 3rd Grader in the 3rd month of school should be able to read this book themselves without getting too frustrated by words they don't know. [The book can be read to any age, of course.]

The "official" Interest Level is given as Preschool thru 2nd Grade. I, personally, disagree and think this makes no sense given the reading designation, and would suggest Preschool on thru fourth grade.

Meant for practice reading, Seuss tried to include useful messages when he could. The ones in this books are particularly useful and deal with consideration, jealousy, and bragging.

Highly recommended.

Pam T~
mom and reviewer for [...]
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on November 30, 1998
Dr. Seuss tops himself once again with this exciting tale of turtle stacking, a difficult and dangerous pastime, to say the least. The fate of Yertle, King of the Turtles, should be a lesson to us all: success earned on the backs of the lowest turtles is no success at all, and will soon crumble.
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on April 29, 1998
If you are wondering whether or not to buy this book, buy it. I have had it read to me a bazillion times and still find it captivating. Everyone knows Dr. Seuss is the king of his art, but this is his masterpiece. I am thirteen and still love the book.
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on November 22, 2015
I remember this story from my childhood. It is still just as great today. I wanted to pass it on to my great nephews so they could enjoy it as well. My nephew used to beg for this story every day. He is now in his 30s and I had to get a copy for his son. I am so glad it is still available for sale.
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VINE VOICEon October 1, 2001
Three great Dr. Seuss Stories in one book.
Yertle The Turtle presents what Dr. Seuss does so well -- Reaching kids with good morality tales that are fun and easy to commit to memory. The three lessons (Don't be greedy, be happy with how you look, and don't try to one-up each other)are well presented in a format that's fun and leads easily to discussion.
The art is fun, as always, and the poems clever. Dr. Seuss scored with this one, also.
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on June 25, 2014
Living fulltime in a motorhome for the last 10 years I have met several people that named their rig "Yertle the Turtle" because of the home on your back aspect of RV living. I decided it was time I read Yertle the Turtle.

The seller was great and the copy is in fantastic condition. The price was more than fair and I am completely satisfied with every aspect of the purchase.

The story ... not so much. Yertle was a terrapin dictator!!
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on November 19, 2013
By my bedside right now are Tolstoy & Seuss....when I tire deeply of Anna & her insatiable desire to self-destruct, Gertrude McFuzz comes into play....she is slightly less macabre (& she has a future)...
of course, a hybridised melding of the two characters would be totally frickin cool...
but, somehow Gertrude Karenina just doesn't have it.
Oh well, whatever the case...Seuss should be at everyone's bedside...and should be read aloud by one's lover, with beeswax candles lit....rose petals strewn about the floor....a Hennessey's in-hand...a silk kimono should be read slowly...with drama..and definitely in a British accent...try it....
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