Monday, November 15, 2021

Review: The Land of the Great Turtles by Brad Wagnon

It's time to start another week! Today's review swings toward history and learning about other cultures. This picture book, which works best as a read-aloud, keeps a Cherokee tale alive and delivers a little more along the way as well. I do enjoy reading these, since it's not only interesting to discover the tales these cultures have told for generations, but to get a glimpse at their history and basic ideologies.

Ready to take a peek with me?

by Brad Wagnon
Illustrated by Alex Stephenson
7th Generation / Native Voices Books
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

When the Creator gave the Cherokee people a beautiful island with everything they could ever need, it came with only one rule - to take care of the land and the animals living there. But, what happens when the children decide to play instead of taking care of their responsibilities?

The Land of the Great Turtles is a colorful and fun retelling of a well-known Cherokee story, meant to be read aloud - to continue the age-old tradition of sharing between generations.



With the desire to not let tales, which have passed from generation to generation, become lost in modern times, this book dives into a often-told, Cherokee story. It follows the tale of an island, which was supposed to be cared for by the people, but the children decided to play instead of fulfilling their responsibilities. While there is an important lesson...and one that still rings true today...this books packs much more than that.

The illustrations are simple but do depict the story nicely and allow listeners to visualize the scenes. The cultural aspects of the Cherokees are clear on every page and mix with the adventure seamlessly. The respect for nature and the beliefs of the Cherokees are delivered with clarity, and allow listeners to discover and learn more about the culture and the people. All of this is presented in a way, which grabs and even entertains. 

The text is great for a read-aloud...better actually than as a 'read-alone'. But considering the idea behind this book—to preserve a tale, which has been told for generations—that isn't surprising. It especially works well for those wanting to learn more about the Cherokees and in classroom/homeschooling situations. 

1 comment:

Heather N. Quinn said...

This sounds like a good book for all sorts of reasons. A great spring board for a variety of discussions. Thanks!