Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Turtle and the Deep Blue Sky by Elizabeth and Eric Zimmer

The Turtle and the Deep Blue Skywritten by Elizabeth Zimmer; illustrated by Eric Zimmer

Reading level: Ages 3 and up
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing (September 2007)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be someone else for just a little while? Perhaps you've wondered what it's like to be an animal. I know I have, and that's the premise of The Turtle and the Deep Blue Sky, the debut picture book of husband and wife team Elizabeth and Eric Zimmer.

It all starts when a turtle who is feeling rather bored and uncomfortably hot in his bulky shell longs to "feel the cool breeze that was moving the clouds above." He borrows wings from a flamingo who begins to feel vulnerable without her wings and borrows quills from a porcupine. So begins a series of trades between animals who enjoy their new features until they see their old features on other animals and develop an appreciation for what they were born with.

Kids will be sure to laugh out loud at the silliness of a fish wearing peacock feathers, a porcupine wearing wool, and more. This charming story would make a great read aloud for younger kids and allows for many discussion opportunities, from animal features to feeling comfortable in your own skin. It also makes me eager to see what's next from the Zimmers who live "in an old sugar beet factory with their young son, Finn."

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