Illustrations by Cheng-Khee Chee
One of my most treasured books is a picture book entitled Old Turtle. This fable, beautifully written by Douglas Wood and illustrated in watercolors by Cheng-Khee Chee, tells a tale of creation and its relationship to God and to other beings. The story begins with an argument. Every aspect of nature – rocks, trees, wind, animals — perceives God in its own unique way. There is no consensus as to who God is or what God is like. The disagreement escalates until wise Old Turtle says “STOP” and reminds the world that God is all things to all creatures, or simply, “God IS.” Then humans arrive on the scene. They come as a promise and a prayer of love. But soon they forget who they are and why they exist. God’s creation seems to be destined for destruction. Until, once again, Old Turtle pleads, “please, stop.” The book leaves the reader with hope.