In the days before tortoises had shells, one talented young tortoise sets out to design the perfect house for his fellow crawlers.
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In a whimsical ``why'' story by an Israeli author, published in Hebrew in 1979, early tortoises (not yet equipped with shells) come up with a unique solution to their homelessness. Taunted by the other animals, who enjoy their own snug homes, and weary of enduring the weather, the tortoises agree that they need a house. The Three Wisest Tortoises appoint a likely young tortoise to build one, sending him abroad to study in preparation. On his return, however, ``he had so many ideas he didn't know where to begin''; still, he comes up with a series of fantastical, if unsuitable, constructions. Disgusted, the Wisest Tortoises tell him that ``we're tired of traveling to and fro to see your ridiculous contraptions. If you want to show us a new tortoise house, you must bring it to us.'' Aha! Though the outcome is foreseeable, the means of getting there are not only entertaining but an amusing analog to some well-known human behavior (at least, when this project is complete, the results serve their purpose). The author's cartoon-style illustrations are unassuming, but appropriately satirical and expressive. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
This droll tale tells of a time when tortoises carried no shells on their backs. Constantly exposed to "the fierce sun . . . the cold rain" and, worse, to the taunts and sneers of other animals "who all had snug, cozy homes to go to," the Three Wisest Tortoises commission a young tortoise to solve their "housing problem." With the heartiness of a folktale and shrewd wit of a fable, Katz imagines various possible tortoise dwellings (all spectacularly impractical) before arriving at the familiar carapace. The young tortoise is endearingly portrayed in loose, nervous illustrations. A little toad-like without his shell, he dons beret and opera scarf to proclaim his artistic calling. Muted earth tones soften the sharp intelligence of the story; generous white backgrounds and bold borders enhance its clarity. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harpercollins Childrens Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060207981. Bookseller Inventory # IT-5H56-J2ET
Book Description Harpercollins Childrens Books, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060207981
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800602079841.0