The Foolish Tortoise

by Eric Carle (Illustrator)

Other authorsRichard Buckley (Author)
Paper Book, 2010



Call number




New York : Little Simon, 2010.


A tortoise realizes the need for a shell after several scary encounters.

User reviews

LibraryThing member anneofia
The tortoise takes off his shell so he can move about faster, and quickly learns that twice as fast is also twice as scary. My small grandchildren love this story and I love the collage art done by Eric Carle.
LibraryThing member srgrammer
This book is about a turtle that thinks he is better off without his shell. He soon finds out that life may be faster, but it is also twice as scary.
LibraryThing member katiehummel
All children can relate to this bedtime story. Most children know the feeling of trying to fit in, so this story is great to relate to. This book is about a tortoise who just wants to be fast, like all the other animals. He is fed up with walking slow, so he decides to take off his shell. After
Show More
having to hide from various animals, and after he is rained on, sunburned, and cold, he decides to put his shell back on.

This story adds new vocabulary to a child's word bank and has a perfect rhyming flow while reading it.
Show Less
LibraryThing member caitlinbennison
A young tortoise wants to be fast for a change, so he takes off his shell. However, he soon sees that he needs his shell, and he climbs back in to safety.
LibraryThing member dmarie8
This delightful book would be most appropriate for early readers, considering the length of the story, as well as uncomplicated vocabulary. It would work well in a first or second grade class. In the story, the tortoise takes off his shell in order to be like the other animals. he wants to be able
Show More
to move fast and do other things the shell kept him from doing. After his experience out in the world without his shell, he learns that the shell exists in order to protect him. What he always saw as a burden, was actually a very beneficial and necessary part of him. By the end of the story the tortoise has a new-found appreciation for his shell, and puts it right back on.
Show Less
LibraryThing member paulaanweiler
The tortoise finds out that he should be true to who he is. That being himself is the best that he can be.
LibraryThing member 1212bec
The foolish turtle thinks life will be better without a shell. The pictures by Eric Carle bring the story to life.
LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
A turtle decides to leave his shell behind one day as it weighs him down, but then discovers all the ways the shell benefits him.

Featuring Eric Carle's distinctive collage work, the illustrations in this book are pure fun. The story itself is captivating enough, and Buckley uses beautiful poetry to
Show More
tell it. The only downside to this is the possibility that the very young intended audience might not quite understand everything - it's probably confusing for them to hear passages in which nouns and verbs in a sentence are inverted to force a rhyme, especially given that they rarely hear such usage. The vocabulary choices are also sometimes more difficult in order to make passages alliterative (i.e., "A hare, a hound, a horse raced by") or to use some other poetic device. Still, I'm one to err on the side of presenting an introduction to something new that will expand young children's minds (and vocabularies), even if it means having to read the book more than once and provide some extra explanations/definitions. Using this method, I found that even my toddler class enjoyed this book and seemed to understand it.

This edition includes an audio CD of the book being read by Keith Nobbs. I did not find his reading to be particularly interesting; it was rather flat and monotone actually. Unlike many other audio CDs accompanying books for young readers, there were no cues for when to turn the page. This is something that tends to be very helpful for beginning readers (or non-readers who are working on pre-literacy skills), so I found that sadly lacking.
Show Less
LibraryThing member carrier3
This story tells the tale of a tortoise who is tired of the limitations of his shell, so he sheds it and attempts to take on the world at a faster pace. Through his journey, however, he starts to understand and appreciate the purpose and protection of his shell, and ultimately returns to it. This
Show More
is a great lesson in perspective and appreciation in a fun way that engages children, especially with the rhymes, as well as the interesting artwork from Eric Carle.
Show Less
LibraryThing member CamillaBean14
FANTASY: (age range: primary)
This book is a good example of fantasy because it uses magic. A tortoise would never be able to detach and explore around without his shell, let alone have the thought that it was too slow. He never would have adventured around and realized that he was bare and needed
Show More
his shell back. However, by using this magic in the book, it teaches us a very valuable lesson, that the things that we have/don't like about ourselves are often the very things that make us who we are.
Show Less
LibraryThing member villemezbrown
A tortoise casts aside the safety of his shell to experience the world in a new way only to be beaten down by his fear of the dangers and chaos he finds.

So the awful lesson is never change -- embrace the status quo -- or you'll regret everything. What a foolish tortoise. What a foolish author.

Show More
pictures though.
Show Less


Original publication date


Physical description

30 cm


Page: 1.1006 seconds