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The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari Hardcover – January 11, 2011

3.7 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A former schoolteacher, Donita K. Paul is the best-selling author of the Dragon Keeper series, The Vanishing Sculptor, and Dragons of the Valley. Evangeline Denmark likes to turn bedtime stories into picture books. She lives in Colorado with her engineer husband, their two noisy boys, her author mom, and Willie, a cattle dog who tries to herd the entire family into one room.
Vincent Nguyen has illustrated numerous children's books and is also a part of the art departments for 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Excerpt

Roger the turtle blew on his toasted marshmallow. “It’s going to be fun spending the whole night at the base of Mount Sillymanborrow.”

“I didn’t know it got so dark on safari,” said Padraig the dragon.

“That’s why we have this fire,” said Roger.

“It’s a roarin’ good one too.” Padraig settled into his seat. “Toss me another marshmallow.”

“Proper adventurers always say please,” Roger teased.

“Yes, indeed. Please.” Padraig speared a puffy marshmallow with a stick.

Roger searched the ground. “Padraig, my good fellow, is the box of baked bugs on your side?”

As the dragon handed over the crunchy treat, a screeching noise made him jump, hover in the air, then return to the ground with a whump. “My stars! What was that?”

“Not to worry, old chap. That was definitely the call of a howler monkey,” Roger explained.

“Oh, righto,” said Padraig. “Very loud fellows, aren’t they?”

“Indeed.” Roger nodded. “Now about those baked bugs.”

“Oh, stinky aphids! I dropped them all over.”

“I’ll help you clean up.”

The turtle gulped a crispy bug, then paused. “Wait! Did you hear that rustling?”

Padraig squinted into the night. “What makes leaves rattle in the tippy top of a tree?”

The boys looked at each other. “Giraffe!”
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030744645X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307446459
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.3 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,107,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You will want to read this book a couple of times before reading to your children. However that said, you can develop your own style. The story is about two friends, Turtle and Dragon who spend the night outdoors. It utilizes a few themes to create a uniquely creative story. Written in a sort of "Sherlocky Holmes" manner, this story is comparible to the Skippyjon Jones books. I will probably buy the other Turtle/Dragon books, highly recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the third book by Donita K. Paul that I've read, and I still love her. This book is a cute little follow up to the previous children's book about Padraig and Roger - 'The Dragon and the Turtle'.

In this story, Padraig and Roger decide to go on safari to Mount Sillymanborrow. During their expedition, they discover wild animals and eat bugs and S'mores while battling their fear of the dark. While they exchange stories over the campfire, Roger does his best to calm Padraig's fears and encourage him to stay all night outside under the stars. Because of Roger's friendship, the two manage to brave the wilds all the way until morning.

I thought this story was a nice one - as did my (almost) 4 year old son - but I did find it a tad long. I suppose this is really because my child is younger and I suspect that it will cease being an issue in another year or two. I also found the British English a little distracting. I didn't notice it being used in the first book, so I was surprised that it was so prevalent in this one. I don't necessarily dislike it, it just took some getting used to. The illustrations are absolutely lovely - just like the first book.

All in all, great book - I'd rate it 4/5. I'd estimate the age range around 5-9, though it's perfectly readable for younger kids. You can pick it up on Amazon for under $10 - I say that's a good price for a kids book like this one.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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Format: Hardcover
My 5 year old Lulu summed up The Dragon and the Turtle perfectly: "That night they were so excited but they kept imagining and imagining and getting scareder and scareder!" That is exactly what happened. As they camped in their backyard (or Mount Sillymanborrow, as they called it), the dragon's and the turtle's imaginations ran wild as kids imaginations do. They imagined a kitten as a leopard, an owl as a howler monkey, and a coyote as some strange breed of Saharan Rhino and they scared themselves silly.

I haven't seen my kids get this excited about a book since I can remember, and they love books. In my mind, it was a cute story but nothing exceptional. It wasn't written for grown-ups, though; it was written for kids. My kids give it 5 stars. They argue over who gets to read it when, who gets to hold it on the way to church, who gets to hold it at church, who gets to... well, you get the picture!

So, yes, I like this book. It not only has an engaging story but interesting, colorful pictures. The Dragon and the Turtle is a cute little book with a good lesson--you don't need to be afraid of the dark (or anything else) because God is always with you.

The book ends with a bible verse from Deuteronomy 31:6 that pulls it all together, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid... God goes with you; he will never leave you." My kids are already asking me when we can "get the other books" in the series and when they can go camping in our backyard.

The wonderful people at Waterbrook Multnomah provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of this review. All views presented are my own.
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Format: Hardcover
I just read The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari with my boys, ages 5 and 3. The story is a little longer than many young children's books. But I appreciated the depth in story telling for a good change of pace for my kids. I enjoy teaching my children how to listen to a story and develop a love for books.

From the very beginning, my boys were fascinated with the idea of a turtle and a dragon. They love dragons! It took a little dramatic acting on my part to keep them engaged through the entire book, but the British accent that the characters talk in definitely helped. As did the imaginative details like roasted bugs for snacks and everyday animals that turned into African jungle animals during the backyard campout. My youngest son loved looking at all the pictures and laughed out loud at some of the scenes.

This book might be best for a school age audience, but I still loved reading it with my boys. I imagine that it would be a perfect for our own campout. I am already thinking of planning a backyard tent experience this summer and using this book for the story time.

There is a discussion time included in the back of the book to help parents draw out life lessons from the story. Again, I felt like this would work best with school age (1st grade on up) children. My 5 year old had a hard time understanding what it was he was supposed to catch from the story but I think older kids would have fun talking through the lessons about friendship, loyalty and overcoming fear. I really enjoyed the imaginative storytelling of this book. I love cultivating creativity and imagination in my kids through stories such as this one.

So, if you are planning a backyard campout or if you have boys...this is the book for you my friends.

I received this book for free in return for my honest review.
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