• $3.99

Publisher Description

Zonk is a little Sonoran desert tortoise who decides to find the ocean and become a sea turtle. A dreamer and explorer at heart, Zonk tries to enlist the help of his friends and family. But they don't understand and tell him it's a silly notion. This is a story of dreams and persistence, of overcoming doubts, and of transformation, while introducing children to the many animals, plants and climate extremes of the Sonoran Desert. The geography includes the Gulf of California and Pacific ocean.

This book is narrated by the author, David Hoobler, with lovely ambient background sounds of the desert and ocean areas depicted in the books. This is book one in the series introduces children to Zonk, a Sonoran Desert tortoise who wants to become a sea turtle; his various pals; and the Sonoran Desert.

Zonk is a Sonoran Desert tortoise but he wants to be a sea turtle. Hiking with his friends, Bunny, Snake and Coyote, he sees a rock with a picture of a sea turtle painted on it. “Look a flying turtle,” Zonk shouts. Then Coyote (who knows everything) explains, “It’s a sea turtle. They live in the ocean and there is water everywhere.” Everyone laughed. Water everywhere! But to Zonk, locked in his heavy shell, floating on a cool quiet ocean sounds like a dream come true. 

A dreamer and explorer at heart, Zonk searches everywhere and ask everyone. But no one understands his obsession and tell him it’s a silly notion. Even his mother and father think the idea of water everywhere is just a myth, a waste of time. But Zonk has faith. With the help of the Ancient Spirit of the Saguaro, monsoon rain, and a flash flood, Zonk makes his way to the ocean and becomes a “sea tortoise”. 

The book is appropriate for preschool all the way up to 10 years. There is a simple map at the front of the book that introduces children to the concept of geography. The book includes a large variety of animals that children will love, (including Coyote, Bunny and Snake) flash flood storms, Ancient Desert Spirits, blue moons, and lots of fascinating nature.  

The artwork is beautiful. Children and adults just love it. The very colorful watercolor paintings have their own small, but dedicated, following and collectors. Very small children that are perhaps too young to follow the stories are absolutely captivated by the wonderful artwork. This book contains 22 full page, original watercolor paintings. 

This is a story of dreams and persistence, of overcoming doubts, and of transformation. It is book one in the very popular Zonk, the Dreaming Tortoise picture book series, which has three books to date. These books are great fun, visually stunning, educational and wonderfully entertaining. 

All the Zonk books include some value added features. In the front of the book is a simple map of where that story takes place. In the second and third book are additional maps that further illuminate that particular story. 

The "science", that is biology and geography, are correct and current within the fantasy of a swimming tortoise and talking animals in each of the books. On the end pages of these books are small glossaries of terms, explanations of some of the geographic areas the stories take place in, additional information about some of the animals in the stories, and explanations of some of the ecosystem relationships between the creatures. 

The books are ecologically sensitive and on the end pages present, in a gentle way that will not frighten, tiny windows into some of success stories and the problem areas of environmental issues faced by the characters and ecosystems in the books. These materials are designed to be a jumping off place for teachers and parents to begin to talk to their children about how to value and take care of our environment and creatures.

January 1
Zonk Galleries and Publications
David Hoobler
Grades 1-2

Customer Reviews

Javainjection ,

Zonk the Dreaming Tortoise

I can echo what the other reviewer has said. Great message about hope and perseverance. Beautifully illustrated. You will fall in love with Zonk and his friends and see the beauty of the universe through these characters eyes.

Stella Gimenez Norfleet ,

ZONK, The Dreaming Tortoise

When I was reading Zonk, the Dreaming Tortoise I found myself enjoying this story very much. It has a powerful message for children and adults about never give up that inner voice that compels us to move forward to explore beyond the adverse circumstances and people who try to keep us away from the possibility of becoming our “better us.” I love this story. I love the message that is in it.

More Books by David Hoobler