Big Hid + A Surprise for Mrs. Tortoise

Two tortoise books came home with us from the library yesterday, by chance.


Big Hid was short and sweet, perfect for my two-year-old’s attention span. It’s a lovely tale about Big and Little and their friendship that shines through the toughest times.

A Surprise for Mrs. Tortoise is a bit longer, but the rich illustrations kept everyone engaged the entire time, as well as the entertaining efforts to make Mrs. Tortoise’s worn out shell shine.

We were so fascinated by these turtle characters that we decided to try our hand at a turtle craft to keep with us at home when these books go back to the library.


Big Hid by Roison Swales

A Surprise for Mrs. Tortoise by Paula Merlán, illustrated by Sonja Wimmer.


Story Art Inspiration: Egg carton turles

You can pretty much make anything with an egg carton, and we happened to have one, so it paired well with our tortoise books on loan from the library this week. This project came together on a whim, so we only used crafty materials we had on hand.


Step 1: Gather your supplies! For this project you’ll need an empty paper egg carton, a paper drinking straw, tissue paper squares (any color, go wild), green construction paper, and some sequins or other decorations for the shell. Not pictured: white school glue and a small paintbrush. Optional: google eyes.

Step 2: Start by watering down your white glue a tiny bit; so it resembles Mod Podge. Or just use Mod Podge. Cut out one of the sections on your paper egg carton and coat that sucker with a generous amount of glue. Then start placing your tissue paper squares on top. You can add as many layers of tissue as you want, and then paint on more glue with your brush to seal the tissue paper edges. We found that decorating the shell first, and then assembling the head, tail, arms and legs last was easier for little hands.

Step 3: While the glue is still wet, add in sequins, gems, beads, or glitter; whatever your little one thinks is beautiful! Then set aside to dry. In the mean time, cut out a head with an extra long neck and a tail from your green construction paper. Then slice up your paper drinking straw into 4 equal size piece.

Step 4: Once dry, you can tape the paper head and tail, along with the legs onto the inside of the shell. Add a little face (insert google eyes here) and marvel at your beautiful little creature!


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