A Good Home, Children's Books, Myrtle The Purple Turtle, New Books, Translation, Vertu la tortue violette

Myrtle On The Move

The little purple turtle returns!

Myrtle — who lived in our family’s hearts for 28 years, captured the imagination of S. African illustrator Jo Robinson, then, in the last year, charmed thousands of children and adults around the world — is on the move.

First, she returns this autumn as “Vertu”, in French.  The text was translated by Myrtle-lovers Jean Long and Jessica Charnock, that creative duo whom you’ve met on this blog.

Here’s Jo’s draft of the cover:

Myrtle Vertu Cover French

Then Jessica emailed: Would Jo and I permit her to make a wall hanging of Myrtle? 

Jo and I were giddy with excitement, of course, and Jessica proceeded to hook the Myrtle the Purple Turtle rug.

And what-do-you-know?  Her wall hanging won “honourable mention” at the huge show and conference of the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild last May in our nation’s capital! Congrats, Jessica!

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In the just-released Autumn issue of the Guild’s magazine, Myrtle’s story and wall hanging merit a whole page of their own.

Blog Photo - Myrtle Hooked rug magazine inside story

Jo’s joyful response:

“I was blown away the first time I saw that fabulously-made Myrtle wall hanging. It is awesome that the Purple Turtle part of Cynthia Reyes’ lovely and loving family is honoured in such a way and by such a talented artist – Myrtle is a great and brave little purple soul and deserves it. Huge thank-you to Jessica and congratulations on placing in the competition! It will always be first with me!”

blog-photo-myrtle-hooked-rug-jessica-and-myrtle-and-me-in-magazine.jpg

There’s a Myrtle sequel already written. Daughter Lauren joined me this time to write it, and Jo, despite a challenging year, is doing her part  again — she’s well on her way with the illustrations and we expect the book to be published within weeks.

It appears that when Myrtle seizes the heart, inspiration strikes. Jessica, Jean, and our entire family are cheering Jo on as she approaches the finish-line with her part of the story.

Will keep you updated!

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A Good Home, Courtice North Public School, Myrtle The Purple Turtle, Myrtle The Purple Turtle in the Schools, Young readers

A Great Morning with Young Readers

I spent a recent morning with dozens of young people at Courtice North Public School in Ontario.

Their teachers had included Myrtle the Purple Turtle in their recent studies. Principal Peter Bischoff invited me to visit.

Blog Photo - School Cynthia holds book and talks to students

I was nervous!

Writing for your readers is one thing. Hearing them talk about your book — and answering their questions — is quite another.

Myrtle the Purple Turtle

And though I’d won awards and acclaim for my children’s TV programs in earlier years, it’s been a long time since I visited a classroom.

The first thing I noticed was that Mrs. Murphy, the teacher who introduced me, treated the students with great respect, addressing them as “Ladies and gentlemen”.

When you are nine or ten years old and are addressed as “Ladies and gentlemen”, what do you do? You live up to it, of course.

Blog Photo - School students 1

Wow. What a smart, polite and thoughtful group. Their observations about the book’s key messages about difference, the role of friends, and accepting oneself and others, were sharp and eloquent.

We talked together about why “the mean turtle” behaved so badly toward Myrtle and whether that turtle might have herself been bullied and considered it normal to be mean.

That led us to talk about a sequel.

Myrtle Picture - Thud

“We followed Myrtle through her day and saw what happened before she met the other turtle,” one astute young woman noted.

“But we didn’t follow the other turtle before she and Myrtle met. Maybe the sequel could tell us more about what happened before to make her so mean.”

“But the story is about Myrtle the Purple Turtle, so if you (focus on) the other turtle, you’d have to change the title of that book to ‘The Mean Green Turtle'”, a young man observed. 

Blog Photo - School student writes

As you can imagine, the discussion was intensive and fabulous. Mrs. Murphy had asked me to talk a bit about the writing process. Discussing the characters and story development for the sequel was one practical way of doing so.

Blog Photo - School Cynthia holds book and talks to students

My great thanks to each and all of the students.

To principal Peter Bischoff, and the teachers of Grades 4, 5 and 6  — Mrs. Fedewicz, Mrs. Posteraro, Mrs. Durst and Mrs. Murphy: 

Thank you for using my book as a learning tool and thanks for your warm welcome.  You made my week!

Thanks to Jennifer Pym-Murphy for the photos.