The Old Turtle

The Old Turtle

IT WAS 30 YEARS AGO that a first-time author (me) with a small, regional publisher that had never published a children’s book, and an artist who had never illustrated a book, began to make a mark. OLD TURTLE went on to sell over 1.5 million copies, to be translated and published into other languages, and to win many awards—including the American Booksellers Association ABBY Award, the International Reading Association Book of the Year, Minnesota Book Award, Midwest Publishers Award, and more. Turtles move slowly, but Old Turtle’s stout legs and strong carapace carried that first-time writer on many book tours and journeys, and into an ongoing career as a real-life author.

It’s been quite a trip, and with two sequels—“Old Turtle and the Broken Truth,” and “Old Turtle: Questions of the Heart,”along with 36 other books for children and adults—the journey goes on. Always with my wise old tortoise friend beside me on the trail.

The journey began:

“Once, long, long ago…
Yet somehow not so very long…
When all the animals,
And rocks,
And winds and waters,
And trees,
And birds,
And fish,
And all the beings of the world
Could speak…
And understand one another…
There began… an argument.

It began softly at first…
Quiet as the first breeze that whispered,
‘He is a wind who is never still.’
Quiet as the stone that answered,
‘He is a great rock that never moves.’
Gentle as the mountain that rumbled,
‘God is a snowy peak, high above the clouds.’
‘She is a hunter,’ roared the lion.
‘God is gentle,’ chirped the robin.
‘He is powerful,’ growled the bear.
And the argument grew louder. And Louder. And LOUDER.

Old Turtle spoke…

(Old Turtle and all my books are available at the store at

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