In late June, 2018, The Tortoise Tales received a Third Place (otherwise known as an Honorable Mention) from The Purple Dragonfly Children's Book Awards, an annual, independent competition of thousands of self-published children's books. Quite an accomplishment. Thanks to everyone who has helped to make this recognition happen!!!
Go to this link to read one of the four book reviews for The Tortoise Tales:
More professional reviews to follow soon.
Sun, Aug 19th, 2018
The Montana Book Company
331 N. Last Chance Gulch
Helena, Montana 59601
Books will be available for purchase.
Mon, Dec 11th at Patti P Tailors, 10182 W. Broad Street, Glen Allen, VA 23060
Books available for purchase along with fur designer items, and new jewelry by local designer. Refreshments!
Saturday , March 3rd, 2018
The Little Bookshop
1318 Sycamore Square
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Barnes & Noble Bookstore
Libbie Place, 5501 W. Broad St
St. Christopher's School
711 St. Christopher's Road
Richmond, Virginia 23226
Monday, May 21st, late afternoon
Tuesday, May 22nd All Day
Sunday, April 29,2018
The Winchester Book Gallery
185 North Loudoun Street
Winchester, VA 22601
There's much to see here. So, take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about this great little book. We hope you enjoy the site and take a moment to drop us a line.
The Tortoise Tales -- "Igniting Kids' Passion Through Story" --
Some might describe The Tortoise Tales as Bindy Irwin meets Uncle Remus or a cross between National Geographic and Disney World but you totally need to judge for yourself. The collection of nine lively animal short stories combines new folktales with modern plots for a unique read full of humor and a wealth of wildlife knowledge. Pimarily targeting middle readers 8-12 years of age, but in truth, the book's really for anyone at any age who enjoy suspense, intrigue, and humor against backdrops pulled straight from nature. Did I mention how the separate stories give wise messages for success? Each fictional story has its own cast of animal characters who experience difficult social situations like kids face today. While entertaining, the stories pique our interest in nature and wildlife and suggest ways to deal with conflict. Now that’s pretty cool... so are the animal characters you’re not likely to forget!
To read what others are saying about the book, press Endorsements Link just below or scroll up to its tab at the top of this Homepage.
Two additional standouts for the book are found in special sections to augment learning even further. Juicy Animal Facts and Noodle Joggers explain some of the science terms and offer discussion questions for readers who want more... rumors are this book is fast becoming teachers' new fave in the classroom.
It’s not always the strongest, the best looking, or the smartest who save the day. In each of the nine tales, animal characters prove this fact over and over again. A huge old tortoise who can’t hold it in any longer, a monkey with a personal hygiene issue, an embarrassed dragon with no fire, a couple of caddisfly larvae procrastinators under siege, a bullied grackle orphan, a minority goat with identity problems, a clever chameleon, a vain magpie queen, and an eagle and owl pair of mystery sleuths each discover how courage, trust, compassion and teamwork can change even the most challenging of situations into unexpected awesomeness!
Photo on Right: "Ezra, the old tortoise, from Tale One"
"The Tortoise Tales" is also a great read for that reluctant reader or English as a Second Language individual who need shorter, quickly digestible chunks to read and plenty of action not just talk!"
“...the human had long, light colored hair piled on top of its head. The little bird thought it looked a lot like his old bird’s nest, a most pleasant thought indeed…the human also possessed a very large mouth with big teeth. A bumped-up, squishy padding surrounded the mouth hole opening. It looked odd not having a beak like he had. As the human tried to communicate, its mouth opened and closed and the squishy padding made all kinds of shapes. All in all, the human appeared fairly pathetic to him, but oddly enough, not the least bit scary.”
“… the unimaginable struck like lightning and without warning. Throughout the tunnels the sounds of hundreds of terrified prairie dogs rang out at the same time. They barked and screamed loudly. A brief pause followed, perhaps the silence even more terrifying…Then a giant, clawed, scaly hawk’s leg stretched out slowly moving down the tunnel. Each of its sharp, long talons reached out, feeling along as it went.”
“…something felt different. You could almost smell it in the air. At least that’s the way it felt for many animals...They whispered, hissed and chattered nervously…it didn’t take long before all the different animals reached the same conclusion—they were facing a mystery of a very high order…”
“When Stella addressed the group of animals, she slowly moved her head around as only owls can. It looked odd, like her head was going all the way around in a complete circle. It struck a few of the animals funny, but no one dared laugh, especially with her owl-stare piercing right into the eyes of each of them as she spoke. It felt a little creepy, as if she was looking right through them, but it served to hold their attention quite well.”
“We can lick our paws, stretch our claws, or howl at the moon ‘til we turn purple, but it still won’t change anything. It won’t bring the children back to nature, back to the outdoors."
Photo on Left: "Baylek, the bald eagle from Tale Nine: "The Blue Light Mystery"
"...combines folktales and modern plots in a unique compilation of lively stories full of humor and a wealth of wildlife knowledge."
--Clarion Review, 4 out of 5 stars
"Guynn's wildlife conservation background and her way with words provide strong foundations for the book. She is also a gifted artist; the book's illustrations are charming and slightly and delightfully off-kilter. These attributes lend The
Tortoise Tales great potential to appeal to young readers."
-- Blue Ink review
"In her debut, Guynn combines humorous shenanigans; an approachable, contemporary voice; and intriguing information about animals, informed by her career in wildlife conservation (She's a former executive director of the National Conservation Leadership Institute). Her own illustrations, featuring soft black-and-white washes, are attractive and capture the animals' personalities well."
Check out this tv interview with the author -- video
What was the most difficult thing for you in writing this book?
A. My biggest challenge writing this book was to come up with stories that were both current and had sufficient action and drama to make them compelling enough for children to want to read and hear them. It was an important storytelling dance I had to quickly learn.
Are any of the tales in the book actually true or partially true?
A. Yes, in Tale 1 the micro stories about the giant sturgeon, the chestnut tree forests, and the animals in early U.S. are true. Also, Tales 4 & 6 tell about animals I knew and are mostly true stories. Real factual information is interwoven throughout all of the book's stories.
How do you know if grown-ups would also enjoy reading this book?
A. Focus groups made up of senior adults heard and read all the stories in the book and informed us how much broader the book's reading audience would be. We also tested the stories in school classrooms.
Why did you pick a giant tortoise for the narrator?
A. I met a giant of an old tortoise several years ago in South Carolina at a wildlife center and was quite taken with his peaceful yet strong demeanor. He fascinated me. He convinced me he knew a lot of secrets.
Do goats really stand on the backs of cows, spontaneously jump up into the air, and roll down hills like Stinky did in Tale Six?
A. Yes, goats really are quite fascinating and comical and they absolutely do all those things and more! When they're babies they even look like they're smiling.
What influenced you to include a story about a noisy magpie bird?
A. Living part of the year in Montana I met magpies up close and personal. I found them so very interesting, clever, closely knitted in their families, and always curious. I learned more when I began writing the book and quickly saw "Queenie" as a celebrity.
Visit the author's recent guest blog she did for Archway Publishing titled " My Book Began Like a Double-Edged Sword" -- it describes some of the personal learning process she experienced when writing her first children's book.
Let us hear from you if you'd like to schedule a book fair, reading, signing and/or nature talk with the author/illustrator.
Do you know a classroom teacher who you think might like to read awesome original animal stories from "The Tortoise Tales" to her students? Let's make it happen!