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Make way for turtles

Wren Wertin
Special to the Daily"The Turtle Saver" is a new children's book by Laurie Parker.
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Written in rhyming couplets, and then some, the story trips off the tongue. It describes one event after another that was spurred by an initial act of saving a turtle. A man on his way to the his grandson’s Little League game espied a dark shadow in the road. Lo and behold it was a turtle, inching his way across the road:

“It lumbered across with a slow turtle’s gait.

The man in the truck knew its probable fate.



A car or an RV could squash its shell flat.

It troubled the man just to think about that.”



And so he stopped his truck, picked up the turtle and set it in a field. From there, the turtle splashed into a reservoir and startled a frog who leaped up. A near collision in mid-air with a dragonfly causes the insect to react:

“This bug changed directions.

His dodge took him high



Way up, where no bothersome frogs could go by.”

A dragonfly soaring, no matter how high, is such a small act. But being “way up high” gives him the opportunity to meet a hummingbird whom he plays tag with. And that hummingbird is led into a completely foreign yard where a sad widow is perusing a photo album of her late husband. Looking up, she sees the bird and gets a little shot of joy. Soon, she’s a bird fan with bird feeders all over the yard.

It goes on and on. Who knew moving a turtle out of the road could ultimately lead to a wedding, a photo of a flower and a late-night adventure for a group of campers? But they’re all connected.

“I first encountered the “troubling of a star’ line from Thompson’s poem in a piece which introduced something called The Butterfly Effect,” said Parker. “The gist is that even small disturbances can affect larger systems – this goes along with the book’s theme of a small act creating far-reaching results and is the inspiration for including a butterfly throughout the book.”

The butterfly she speaks of, and all the illustrations, were created through collage. Some of the pages are so intricate they can only be understood after the fact. The clues are all there, though they’re unfathomable at first sight.

“The Turtle Saver” is a fun book that keeps the story moving. It’s a good one to read aloud, rhymes and all. The full-color hardbound book is 40 pages and costs $16.95. It’s available through local independent bookstores Verbatim Booksellers in Lionshead and The Bookworm of Edwards.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.


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