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Children's Nonfiction Reptiles & Amphibians

Turtle Pond

by (author) James Gladstone

illustrated by Karen Reczuch

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
May 2018
Reptiles & Amphibians, General, Zoology
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2018
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: k to 3
  • Reading age: 4 to 7


A delightful tribute to turtles and turtle-watching, from a young child’s perspective.

What is it about turtles that fascinates us? Is it how they hide inside their patterned shells, their wizened faces, their slow determination?

In Turtle Pond, a child and his parents visit their local public garden throughout the year, observing the turtles as they play, dive, feed, bask, climb, hide and doze. James Gladstone’s lively prose poem reveals the pleasure and curiosity that come from spending time with the turtles. Karen Reczuch’s stunningly beautiful illustrations accurately portray these extraordinary creatures, both in and out of the water, surrounded by lush plants and the changing seasons beyond the greenhouse windows.

An author’s note provides more information about turtles, including the Red-eared Slider featured in the book.

Key Text Features
scientific illustrations
author’s note
further information

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

About the authors

JAMES GLADSTONE is an author of picture books for children, including When Planet Earth Was New, Earthrise, and Turtle Pond, which won the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction. James’ latest book, Journey Around the Sun, follows Halley’s Comet on its travels through the ages. James lives in Toronto, Ontario.


James Gladstone's profile page

Karen Reczuch has illustrated many award-winning children’s books. Loon by Susan Vande Griek won the TD Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-fiction, the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Picture Book Award and the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable Information Book Award. Karen’s other publications include West Coast Wild, winner of the VCLR Information Book Award; The Auction by Jan Andrews, a Governor General’s Award finalist; Just Like New by Ainslie Manson, winner of the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award; and Salmon Creek, winner of the BC Book Prize. Karen’s work includes scientific, historical and archeological illustration, and has been exhibited internationally.

Karen Reczuch's profile page


  • Winner, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children‚Äôs Non-Fiction

Editorial Reviews

. . . the book evokes curiosity as well as a sense of wonder and respect for these long-surviving reptiles.

Literacy Daily

. . . illustrated in striking watercolors . . . The wonder and excitement of seeing turtles as they live through all four seasons emphasizes the curiosity people feel about this ancient species.


[A] beautiful book . . . It would be a wonderful gift for any child.

Resource Links

A pleasant time in the company of turtles.

School Library Journal

A poetic yet informative introduction to the lives of turtles that will motivate children to find out more.

Kirkus Reviews

Turtle Pond is a delightful, quiet book that is perfect for sharing with youngsters always curious about the animal world.

CM Magazine

Other titles by James Gladstone

Other titles by Karen Reczuch

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