The Box Turtle (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


The Box Turtle is the cutest little turtle who learns that having a box instead of a shell is considered weird. He tries many types of shells to find the right one, but alas, he has no luck. Eventually, he realizes that he shouldn’t care what the other turtles think! He likes his box, he wants to stay just the way he is, and there is nothing wrong with that.
We live in a world where most children will eventually grow up to be subject to the judgmental sphere of social media. Box turtle teaches kids that being different is okay.  Teaching children to be who they want to be regardless of what others think, gets harder and harder as the internet gains more and more traction. That is why books like The Box Turtle are so important! Kids need to learn to tune out the bad things they will hear online and learn to love themselves from a young age, and books like this are one of the best ways to help with that.

— From Alex M.

Spring 2020 Kids Indie Next List

“Terrance, a little box turtle, is too cute for words. This is a great story about being more than what you look like, and what it means to be a good friend, too. Kids will identify with learning to be okay with being themselves — even if it means being a little weird.”
— Tildy Banker-Johnson, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA


An irresistibly cute story about finding the confidence to be yourself, starring a turtle in search of the perfect shell.

Terrance the turtle was born without a shell, so he uses a cardboard box instead. Terrance loves his box. It keeps him dry on soggy days, safe from snooping strangers, and is big enough to cozy up with a friend. But when another turtle points out that Terrance's shell is, well, weird, he begins to wonder whether there might be a better shell out there...

Eventually, and through much trial and error, Terrance learns that there's nothing wrong with being different--especially when it comes to being yourself.

About the Author

Vanessa Roeder is an author and illustrator whose work has been featured in Highlights magazine and on Apartment Therapy. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and three kids.

Praise For…

"In Roeder’s skillful hands, the little box turtle offers an inarguable message about the power of friendship and the importance of working with what one has." —Publishers Weekly

"Roeder renders an adorable, rosy-cheeked (all four cheeks, when he’s going about shell-free) Terrance in colorful pencil and acrylics, bringing the cute along with plenty of laughs . . . A sweet, affirming message brings things together in the end." —Booklist

"Shelled or not, though, Terrance is an appealing figure, with gentle lines, a soft green color, and a cute little booty. Terrance’s makeover of his box may inspire youngsters to want to create a 'shell' for themselves, so have a few cardboard boxes and markers on hand for crafty turtle enthusiasts." —BCCB

"This suggested general purchase supports social-emotional learning with confidence building through awareness of the character’s uniqueness and ability to think 'out of the box.'" —School Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9780735230507
ISBN-10: 0735230501
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: February 11th, 2020
Pages: 40
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