Friday, June 17, 2022

Review: Thurman Goes Green by Artie Knapp

Today's read won me over with that super, sweet turtle on the cover. Plus, this one promises to give young readers some inspirations for summer projects...and us parents out there will need all the inspiration we can get. Although I'm not always into 'message books', I might just be won over by this one.

Ready to go on a turtle hunt? 

A Turtle's Guide for a Cleaner Planet
by Artie Knapp
Illustrated by Mike Jackson and Dan Goffredo
Wonder Children
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

Join Thurman the Turtle in his quest to create a greener, cleaner, healthier planet. A storybook for every boy and girl who cares about the Earth.

When he discovers his water is being polluted by human garbage, Thurman the Turtle goes on a mission to stop it. He travels and realizes that people have not only polluted his pond and river but also their own land. But he also finds out that humans put an end to pollution with the four "R's": Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

When he accidentally gets his head stuck in a bottle, he finds out that boys and girls can be heroes too. Change is possible. Anyone can make a difference and protect our environment.



When this adorable turtle decides to take things into his hands, it's hard not to cheer him on and be inspired.

When a turtle wedding is ruined by garbage thrown out of a passing car window, Thurman decides enough is enough. Not knowing how he can make a difference but determined to try, he heads down the river toward the human's living area. Everywhere, there's garbage. Even around their own homes and streets. But his shock and disgust is interrupted as a passing school group sends him into hiding. Unfortunately, it lands him in a very bad spot, leaving more than just his his mission in jeopardy.

I'm always a bit cautious when it comes to 'message' books, but this turtle is hard not to like. The reader accompanies Thurman on quite the little adventure, and that with one or two original twists. It's easy to sympathize with his frustration, in the beginning scene, and to cheer for him as he heads out to do something about the problem. It's never mentioned what exactly he thinks he'll accomplish, but this also will keep listeners thinking and wondering. 

The illustrations are straight forward and work very well with the story. Thurman comes across very nicely and seems like a turtle, who would make a great friend. The problems are clear and the world familiar, making these great to look at, especially during a read-aloud.

The tale itself is pretty straight forward and appropriate for the age group. There is a section on carbon foot printing, which might need a bit more explanation...but that fits in well with a discussion after the read. This book does work nicely for introducing a theme to a group and inspiring kids to consider the environment more. The message is very clear, but it's well woven into a fun tale, which entertains all on its own. 

And here they are...

Artie Knapp is the author of over 40 published Children's Literature works that includes books, poems, videos, stories and videos. You can visit him online at

Mike Jackson and Dan Goffredo (aka MJ Illustrations) have been creating award winning images for nearly 30 years. Among their extensive list of publications is Random House’s Paw Patrol book series, which is based on the internationally popular children’s television series. You can visit them online at  

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