Set in Western Australia, Monty C. Turtle Learns to Swim is a heartwarming picture book about a late-hatching baby turtle who wakes up to find that his brothers and sisters have already left for the ocean, but he himself is unable to swim yet. In his journey to learn how to swim and join his siblings, he encounters various Australian sea creatures and ultimately learns that, in order to swim, he has to embrace his own unique abilities.
Writers Kara Lauder and Dr Mick Guinea both work in turtle conservation and research, and are passionate about educating very young children about Australian sea creatures and the marine environment. They endeavour to include one lesser-known sea creature in each of their books – in this case, the sand dollar. Sunshine Herbert’s beautiful watercolour illustrations complement the tale perfectly.
The picture book is also relatable for young readers who are also learning how to swim, and has been so popular in doing so that some children are even calling one swimming stroke “the Monty”.
The book launch was set in the so-called “fish bowl” of the aquarium, where you pass through underground tunnels as schools of fish, sting rays, and sharks pass overhead. With live acoustic guitar thanks to Kara’s cousin and guest cameos from various aquatic sea life, the launch of Monty C. Turtle Learns to Swim was an incredibly special experience for all ages, and – as did the book itself – certainly brought out the child in me.
You can purchase the book via their website, or visit their Facebook page for more photos and updates.
Author: Kara Lauder and Dr Mick Guinea
Illustrator: Sunshine Herbert
Publisher: Seedling Publishing, $18.00 RRP
Publication Date: 8 November 2014
For ages: 0 - 5
Type: Picture Book