Old Turtle, 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 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. Too quickly 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.” And the reader is left with hope.
This is my all-time favorite picture book. While generally considered to be a children’s book, the poetic message may be a bit lofty for the youngest minds to grasp. But it shouts to adults loud and clear . . . Love everyone. Be accepting of differences. Love the earth and protect it. Love God. Even the beautiful watercolors, I feel, are more geared to adults. But I read it to my kids anyway. It is that amazing!