World Turtle Day

May 23rd is World Turtle Day, and the nonprofit American Tortoise Rescue is encouraging everyone to "shellebrate" our fine reptile friends. What a great time to eat a turtle sundae and listen to The Turtles' classic hit, "Happy Together"!

The American Tortoise Rescue formed in 2000 to advocate for the survival of turtles and tortoises. Recent news of Australia's green-haired punk turtle being added to the endangered species list demonstrates that there is definitely something to worry about.

Turtles and Tortoises I Have Known

I've always had a soft spot for these hard-shelled, shy creatures. When I was a little girl, on occasion, our family hopped in the car to visit my grandparents. During the whole drive over, I'd wonder if Tank (my grandpa's desert tortoise that lived in their backyard) would have his head out of the ground. You see, tortoises spend part of the year hibernating, with their heads buried. It was only years later that I learned that tortoises and turtles are able to survive in this state by (drum roll, please) breathing through their butt.

Strangely, Tank hasn't been my only close encounter with tortoises and turtles. Everyday when I am at home, I walk by my landlord's turtle terrarium, which he keeps just outside my apartment's front door. Though we've been neighbors for awhile, these turtles are still very bashful. But what a wonderful thing, to be near these sweet creatures every day!

Turtle and Tortoise Reading Recommendations

Here are my fiction and nonfiction recommendations!

Turtle Island

We Found A Hat

Mossy

Who Wants A Tortoise?

Melvin and the Boy

Turtle's Penguin Day

Take your Time

Turtles

Owen and Mzee

Esio Trot

What are your favorite turtle and tortoise books? Let us know in the comments below.

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