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Carolina's Story: Sea Turtles Get Sick Too!

Last updated Thursday, March 24, 2011

Author: Donna Rathmell
Illustrator: Barbara J. Bergwerf
Date of Publication: 2007
ISBN: 1934359009
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2011

Synopsis: From School Library Journal

A photographic journal of the rescue and rehabilitation of an ailing female loggerhead turtle. Close-up color photos record Carolina's arrival at the Sea Turtle Hospital, her medical treatment, and the efforts of staff and volunteers to get her back on her flippers and seaworthy. The simple text is highly anthropomorphic (Carolina feels better when she sees another ill turtle; upon release, she is thankful to all the people who had helped her when she was sick, etc.), but it will appeal to its intended audience. Back matter includes photos showing other rescued loggerheads being cared for, Fun Facts, and a template for making a paper turtle. Similar to (but far simpler than) Kathryn Lasky's richer Interrupted Journey (Candlewick 2001), Rathmell's book will find eager readers and perhaps boost their empathy level.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What animal is on the cover and what is her name?
•  Does Carolina look sad?
•  Have you seen a turtle before?
•  Where do animals go when they get sick?

•  Life-threatening
•  Biologist
•  Barnacles
•  Antibiotic
•  Gently

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why did biologist Kelly give Carolina a shower?
•  How do you feel when you are sick?
•  Have you ever gotten a shot?
•  What is used to store Carolina’s food?

Craft ideas:
•  Make your own sea turtle. Using the provided template, color then cut out all pieces. Tape or glue the shell onto a paper plate and assemble the head, front flippers, and rear flippers accordingly.
•  Make your own sea turtle, using a paper plate for the shell & cutouts for the head & legs.

Special activities:
•  For additional fun facts on sea turtles, refer to the second to last page as well as the back page for pictures.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!