Old Turtle and the Broken Truth
Wood, Douglas. 2003. Old Turtle and the Broken Truth. Illustrated by Jon J. Muth. New York: Scholastic Press.
The universal theme of peace and harmony drive Douglas Wood’s Old Turtle and the Broken Truth. Truth can be found throughout nature if you just stop to listen and accept its beauty and awe. In the story, a piece of truth falls to earth where the animals and nature find it nice, but incomplete. Humans find the piece and it turns them into self-absorbed, isolated, greedy people until a little girl goes on a journey to heal the nations. She befriends Old Turtle who imparts her wisdom and gives the girl the ability to restore the truth. This story will appeal to adults and older students with its more sophisticated art and text. Jon Muth’s watercolor illustrations are ethereal and add to the essence of the fable. The pieces of the broken star, the truth, stand out in sharp detail against the backdrop of the muted watercolor wash. The color guides the tone in this worldwide message of tolerance and acceptance. The humans change from black and white to color as they achieve self-awareness and realize the truth is found within themselves and in nature. The topics of ecology and world preservation are current and appealing to all grades and readers.