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Tortoise! Tortoise! is an Oxford Reading Tree Snapdragons book written by Jane Langford. It's a level 2 book, which is suitable for children of around five years of age. This book is designed to be read after a child has already got a few of the easier level 2 books under their belt. You can get a copy from Amazon for £3.75 though you can get it much cheaper if you buy it in the Snapdragons multipack. We got ours from the Book People a while back, 18 Snapdragons books (including this one) for £12.99.
What's so great about these books for new readers is that they're really appealing first of all. Little learners will not feel overwhelmed by their thin, flimsy format, and will be instantly attracted to the glossy smooth cover and brightly coloured pictures. That's the same for all the Snapdragon books we've had, and Tortoise! Tortoise! is no exception to that.
Inside this particular book, there's a little story about a tortoise in hibernation. Obviously they don't actually use the word 'hibernation' exactly as if they did, I don't think your average five year old could read this book! No, instead they simply show Tortoise sleeping through the various seasons. He asks if he can get up, but is told by passing animals that he can't because it's too windy or too cold or too wet. Then finally, the animals gather to make a group effort to rouse a heavily slumbering Tortoise. He wakes and finds that it's summer at last.
There are only 16 pages in this book, and every one is covered in a bright full-page illustration. The text is large print, the same size as in the level 1 Snapdragon books. But this moves on slightly from level 1, and some of the easier level 2 books, by extending the sentences slightly. A lot of the words are as simple as ever (the, at, is etc) but the sentences get longer to encourage early readers to start to pick up speed and confidence.
There are also a few more exclamation marks used in this book than in the books before it. I like that the book makes use of quite a few different phonetic words (like shell, asleep etc) and that it teaches children a lesson about wildlife and the seasons, as well as how to read the season words.
I rate this book highly and think it's a very useful early reading book to purchase. £3.75 is a little bit steep, but it's not ridiculous for such a well thought out and enjoyable education tool.