Myrtle the Turtle is jealous of her older brother, Yertle. He can swim faster and go places she can’t go, and he understands the funny things their parents say. It just doesn’t seem fair. So one day Myrtle decides to go exploring on her own, swimming across the reef toward the back side, where the water is deep. She ignores a warning from inside herself—an “uh-oh” feeling—that she shouldn’t go out there. When her family realizes she’s gone, they are alarmed; they find her, scold her, and bring her home. Myrtle feels ashamed, and then she feels she must be bad, so she hides. But Mama Turtle helps her understand what she’s feeling so that she knows what to do the next time she has that “uh-oh” feeling and then gives her a big hug to transform the shame monster. Can Myrtle use her new knowledge with her cousins the next time they want to play in the deep water? Exploring the transformation of shame through the parent-child connection, this children’s story shares the tale of a young turtle who learns the power of hugs to counteract shame.
“Jan DiSanto has written a lively and clever book for children, playfully illustrated … It relays the message that we all experience shame and that healing can take place through connection in loving relationships … It is an important addition to a child’s library that will enhance learning with every rereading.” —Liza J. Ravitz, PhD, child and adult psychologist