TOWNSEND — Everyone loves turtles! But not everyone knows them very well. Turtles are surprisingly smart, athletic, vocal, colorful, and emotional, and they deserve to be celebrated.
Learn about the diversity of the world’s more than 300 turtle species with wildlife artist extraordinaire Matt Patterson and national bestselling author Sy Montgomery’s as they talk about all things turtles and present their new book “The Book of Turtles” at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 13, at the Townsend Public Library, 12 Dudley Road.
Montgomery and Patterson said they created this picture book — suitable for adults and children — “so people would look at turtles and say ‘wow!’,” Montgomery said.
With dazzling illustrations and emotionally engaging, fact-filled text, this picture book will speak to the wisdom these long-lived animals can lend.
“Did you know that there are turtles who hunt, turtles who climb trees, turtles who begin to talk with each other while they are unhatched babies still inside their eggs,” Montgomery added.
There are red turtles and yellow turtles, turtles with googly eyes, turtles with necks longer than their shells.
“In cultures the world over, people tell various stories of a World Turtle — that the Earth on which we stand was first piled on the back of a turtle, that a turtle’s legs holds up the heavens, even that the first people were hatched from a turtle egg,” Montgomery said.
And Montgomery believes these stories hold a lot of truth.
“Turtles are in fact the foundation of many ecosystems,” she said. “Turtles are recognized the world over as wise, patient, ancient creatures.”
It is the hope of Montgomery and Patterson that their book reconnects people with turtle wisdom and inspires readers to better protect them.
“Turtles arose at the time of the first dinosaurs,” said Patterson. “The dinos are gone. The turtles are with us, still. But 61 percent of the world’s more than 300 species of turtles are in dangerous decline. Turtles need our help!”
Following the slide talk, participants are invited to stick around to meet a live turtle or two and pick up a copy of “The Book of Turtles”, which can be signed and personalized by the artist and author.
Space is limited. For more information, or to register for this event, visit townsendlibrary.org or call 978-597-1714.