Reviews for "Tudley"!

School Library Journal, August 2006

A young painted turtle doesn’t know much about what his species can and cannot do, so when a hummingbird accidentally drops her nest material into the water next to him, he flies up to return it. It turns out that he tries and succeeds at many things that were thought to be impossible for turtles, including flashing like a firefly and hopping like a frog. However, when he gets into trouble, it is the older turtles who can give him advice about how to rescue himself. By the end of the book, Tudley has taught them about trying new things, and they teach him some practical skills. The illustrations alternate between half- and full-page spreads that show the personalities of the pond’s denizens. Tudley is full of exuberance and joy at helping his friends, and the look on the faces of the older turtles when he flies above them is priceless. The book also includes information about the animals mentioned and activities related to the story. –Susan E. Murray, Glendale Public Library, AZ

Children's Book Reviews

Young children love to play imaginative games, pretending they are being made into a pizza, knowing they can fly to the moon, or that they can fight dragons. In the moment of the game what they are pretending is reality. Of course they can! The same goes for young Tudley the turtle. Of course he can hop like a frog, glow like a firefly, fly like a hummingbird, and sing like a katydid. When he accidentally lands on his back, which is a most difficult predicament for any turtle, Tudley is afraid. Will his ever-lasting confidence pull him through to safety?
John Himmelman has created a special, delightful book, which will spark a deeper sense of imagination in his young readers. The story hums along and the illustrations follow in a fascinating, animating style. To make it even better readers are introduced to variety of small, engaging creatures and their behaviors in story form, the best way to absorb nature next to being out in it. The animal facts and activities at the end are not to be missed. Children will love to make the hopping turtle in art. Highly, highly recommended for preschool through early elementary years! -Judith Nasse


When a hummingbird drops a bit of lichen into his pond, innocent young Tudley the turtle fishes it out and flies up to the bird's nest to return it. But the bird informs Tudley that "turtles can't fly." Soon Tudley is told that he can't do other things he has just done: light his tail like a firefly, hop like a frog, and sing like a katydid. When he finds himself stuck atop a pile of rocks, the other turtles explain what he can do. The final, wordless double-page spread shows that Tudley has also taught the other turtles a thing or two. An appended section provides information on each species that appears in the book, as well as several suggested activities. Although the story starts out like many "I'm glad to be what I am after all" picture books, the unflappable protagonist breaks away from the mold, and the story's unconventional ending is completely satisfying. The illustrations, apparently ink drawings with watercolor washes, suit the tale's mood and the hero's ingenuous spirit. - Carolyn Phelan


Front Street Books

"Tudley Didn't Know", written and illustrated by John Himmelman, is a beautiful story - visually and verbally. Something of a children's version of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull", Tudley knows how to do things that he didn't know he wasn't supposed to know. Tudley learns that most important of all skills, to TRY - his example teaches the others around them that limitations aren't always really there.