Spring has come to the swamp. Newt wakes up from his winter's nap, deep in the mud. Luckily, his dearest friend, Turtle, wakes up and pulls him out. Now, Newt has spent the summer trying to think of a way to repay his friend. As winter closes in, Turtle is in real trouble and Newt finds a clever, daring way to save him. Full color.
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When Newt is stuck in the mud, Turtle pulls him out. When a snake is about to gobble Newt, Turtle warns him. When an alligator approaches Newt, mouth open wide, Turtle causes a distraction. Turtle doesn't mind helping his red-spotted friend out of jams, he's just happy to have a companion in the swamp. But Newt is plagued by the question, "What can I do for Turtle?" He desperately wants to return the many favors his friend does for him, yet no matter how long he perches cross-legged on his thinking rock, he can't come up with the perfect reciprocal gesture. Finally, Newt's day arrives. When Turtle is flipped onto his back by a curious bobcat, Newt comes to the rescue with a lever system of his own amphibian design. Turtle is eternally grateful, and Newt is ecstatic with the joy of having helped a friend.
Jonathan London tells this simple story with a cadence and pace that will please readers and listeners, and with a voice that neither insists nor implies that repayment of friendly gestures is mandatory. Louise Voce's bright, bold drawings of swamp life will have children devouring the oversized pages, seeking out the rich variety of animal life contained therein. And, because Newt rates fairly high on the scale of all-time cutest picture book creatures, kids will want to return again and again to this gentle story of the natural give and take of friendship. (Ages 3 to 7)From Kirkus Reviews:
A story of friendship and reciprocity that teaches without preaching, from London (Old Salt, Young Salt, p. 901, etc.). Vivid illustrations by Voce transport readers to a swamp in spring, where birds chirp, and Newt, crawling out of the sun- warmed mud where he has been hibernating for the winter, is stuck. He calls for help from his friend, Turtle, who promptly extricates him. Grateful Newt wonders how he can repay Turtle, who saves him next from a snake and then an alligator. When a curious bobcat flips Turtle on his back, readers will learn what Newt, with a simple lever, can do for his friend. These oversize pages are full of small, refreshingly simple lessons on how friends help each other; with a rhythmic telling that may have readers chanting along, the story is perfectly delightful. (Picture book. 3-7) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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