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Turtles and Tortoises
Submitted by: David, LaPorte
• Toddler
To Baby with Love by:Jan Ormerod
?Turtle?, the last story in this book, is an illustrated version of the rhyme about a turtle that lived in a box and snapped at everything. (It works well to read the story first and then teach the rhyme to the children using improvised hand movements.)
Turtle Day by:Douglas Florian
Turtle pokes his head out of his shell and has many adventures before returning to his shell to sleep. Each page anticipates the next choice that Turtle will make during his day.
Hi, Harry! by:Martin Waddell
Harry Tortoise cannot find anyone slow enough to play with him. Finally he meets Sam Snail; they play slow games and fast become friends.
My Turtle
This is my turtle.
She lives in a shell.
She likes her home very well.
She pokes her head out, when she wants to eat.
She pulls it back in, when she goes to sleep.

(Make a fist for the turtle with your thumb inside.
Shake your fist to show that she likes her home.
Pull your thumb out to pretend to eat out of your other hand.
And tuck your thumb back in for her to sleep.)

(This is a good challenge for toddlers because it requires them to operate their thumbs independently of their fingers without losing control of the original shape.)
The Tortoise
The tortoise crawls down the path
Around the rocks
And through the grass
Up a hill into the sun
Just to have some tortoise fun!

(This action rhyme you could do as a tickler using one hand as the tortoise and have it end up on top of your head. Or if you have enough space, you could do it as a movement action rhyme and crawl around to the verses, with your head bouncing up and down for the last line.)
You can explain before you begin the story time that turtles like living in water while tortoises like living on land, since most toddlers will not recognize the difference.