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Carolina's Story by Donna Rathmell German/A Review

To raise awareness for Endangered Species Day, I am posting reviews of several awesome picture books from Sylvan Dell. Sylvan Dell publishes award-winning picture books that integrate Science, Math, and Geography and are great resources for both classroom teachers and homeschool moms. Check them out!

Carolina's Story: Sea Turtles Get Sick Too!

Written by Donna Rathmell German

Illustrated by Barbara J. Bergwerf

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

32 Pages

Hardcover ISBN: 9780976494300

Paperback ISBN: 9781934359006

I love reading non-fiction books to my children that inspire them to learn more about a topic or subject. We found a winner with Carolina's Story: Sea Turtles Get Sick Too! by Donna Rathmell German. This is a delightful picture book and photo journal about a sick turtle that washed up on the beach, barely alive. The Turtle Rescue Team took her to the Sea Turtle Hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium, where a team of biologists and doctors were waiting to take care of her. Aptly named Carolina, the sea turtle needed a lot of attention and many medical procedures in order to recover from her 'turtle flu', such as barnacle removal, drawing blood, antibiotics rubbed into open sores, x-rays, shots, an IV, a healthy diet, etc.

This special loggerhead was rehabilitated and finally returned to the ocean, but not before winning the hearts of many staff members, volunteers, and visitors who came to the facility. What an amazing story (through text and photographs) about a delightful sea turtle named Carolina and the dedicated caregivers who were committed to her, the recovery process, and her release back into her natural habitat!

Donna German has done an excellent job detailing the rescue, the admission to the Sea Turtle Hospital, and the procedures that were needed to help Carolina recover from her turtle flu. But more than that, she helped us get to know Carolina better by telling about her playful personality and how she became more active and curious as she began to feel better. We also learned more about the emotional ties and dedication of the staff and volunteers who gave (and give to each new patient) of their time, expertise, and love to help this magnificent creature return to her home. It really is a heart-warming book.

Barbara J. Bergwerf also did a fantastic job on the photographs for the book. She captured Carolina's personality perfectly, and the reader/viewer also gets glimpses of the people, procedures, and facility that 'explain' what happened in each phase of Carolina's recovery. A picture really is worth a thousand words!

As always, Sylvan Dell sets high standards by introducing captivating stories interwoven with sound mathematical or scientific information. In addition, there is also a ‘For Creative Minds’ section in the back of the book including, fun facts about Loggerhead Turtles, a measurement activity, a 'Make Your Own' Sea Turtle template, and additional photographs about other rescued/recovering turtles.

You can also find more links, activities, and quizzes for this book and other titles at You can even find out how Sylvan Dell titles align with state standards. Options and possibilities are numerous, making these books excellent for both classroom and home use!

Reviewed by Amy M. O'Quinn for Sylvan Dell.

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