Tag Archives: Mary River turtle

Poppy, the Punk Turtle [Endangered Animals #2]- Aleesah Darlison. Illustrated by Mel Matthews

Standard

Penguin Australia

  • Published: 31 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9781760899233
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $19.99

The battle to save the Mary River has been building momentum for years now and the residents of the Mary Valley are resolute in their determination to save the river, the environment and the wildlife. Paramount in that wildlife is the incredible and utterly adorable Mary River turtle, and thankfully, awareness of this species and its tenuous grasp on continued existence has become far more of a focus.

Aleesah Darlison is passionate about conservation and environmental issues, and her dedication to bringing information to the attention of children, in an entertaining and engaging way, is always impressive. With this second in the Endangered Animals series – Coco, the Fish with Hands being the first – Aleesah demonstrates, yet again, her skill in blending fact with fiction into endearing stories which children just love.

The Mary River turtle is a marvel for many reasons. Many children know, and of course LOVE, the fact that Mary River turtles breathe through their bottoms – I have often enjoyed sharing that snippet with many – but reading Poppy’s story will increase their knowledge of the other amazing aspects of this unique creature’s attributes. For an animal whose family history reaches back millions of years to be so critically endangered, due to the thoughtlessness of humans, will spur children to their own indignation and, no doubt, in many instances, act as a call to arms for their own campaign to help the turtles.

Aleesah’s delightful text about this little punk rocker and her search for a suitable new waterhole in which to nest,accompanied by Mel Matthews’ bold and colourful illustrations, will once again delight the readers.

This really is a must-have series for your collection and I, for one, am eagerly anticipating the next instalment in what is going to be a highly valued resource for units of work, raising social consciousness and, just as importantly, joy in nature. If I were still in a classroom I could see a whole river scene mural happening with the lifecycle of Poppy and her friends and the whole splendid wilderness of the Mary valley pictured. What a learning experience that could be!

Highly recommended for readers from around 5 years upwards – easily shared with older readers as a springboard to environmental studies.