Myrtle the Purple Turtle: Book Review

Myrtle the Purple Turtle by Cynthia Reyes #loveyourshell

Myrtle the Purple Turtle

Do you have a favorite critter from childhood? I do. I’ve loved this adorable creature ever since a pediatrician asked me to draw a picture of a patchwork turtle pillow that sat on the floor of her office waiting room. I was having trouble navigating grief concerning a relative who no longer lived with us. And I was having trouble loving my shell.

Myrtle the Purple Turtle by Cynthia Reyes #loveyourshell book review by wendy l macdonald

Looking back on that unusual request by the pediatrician, I now understand she was employing art therapy to break the ice between my fear and her desire to help me.

I never did tell her the whole story of what was going on in my life; I was too young and naive to understand what was happening around me, and to me. Self-blame and shame kept me silent. But I appreciated her kindness–and gentleness–towards me. And the patchwork turtle I drew for her was only the beginning of a magical relationship I would eventually have with turtles. For years later, I began collecting them after a healing visit with my estranged family member.

But that’s a story for another day.

Myrtle the Purple Turtle by Cynthia Reyes #loveyourshell Myrtle the Purple Turtle by Cynthia Reyes #loveyourshell

Today, I want to share a brand new book with you that’s written by Cynthia Reyes, a Canadian author, former journalist, and former CBC broadcaster. Cynthia and I have been blogging friends ever since I discovered her site through a mutual writing friend. Our friend included a link on her blog to a CBC radio interview regarding Cynthia’s first memoir. After listening to Cynthia being interviewed by Shelagh Rogers regarding the book: A Good Home, I had to buy it.

Both of her memoirs are 5-star reads I didn’t want to put down.

So when I heard Cynthia had written a children’s book about a turtle, I was hooked and eager to buy it. The story behind Myrtle the Purple Turtle is as intriguing as the book itself. Here’s the link to Cynthia’s daughter’s blog post about it: Lauren Reyes Grange

And here’s a wonderful behind the scenes post about the book: Myrtle the Purple Turtle.

And here’s my GoodReads/Amazon review of it:

“When I read Myrtle the Purple Turtle, I was reminded of times when I’ve witnessed others (or myself) being ridiculed for being different from others. The story of Myrtle is empathetic, empowering, and encouraging. The realistic resolution and happy ending make it a perfect read for parent and child, and an ideal resource for homeschoolers, elementary school teachers, and public libraries for facilitating tolerance and acceptance between children of different cultural back grounds.

I’ve given it five stars because it’s easy to read—yet poignant—and because the delightful illustrations, by Jo Robinson, add a warmth to the book that put it into what I suspect will be an award-winning category. I’m looking forward to reading it to my first grandchild.

I wish all children received the encouragement to love their shell. Myrtle the Purple Turtle is one small way to make a big step towards this desire.”

Here’s a sample of my own turtle collection:

Myrtle the Purple Turtle by Cynthia Reyes #loveyourshell book review by wendy l macdonald


Have you ever struggled with loving your shell? I’m nosy-to-know.

Congratulations, dear Cynthia; I can’t wait until I have a grandchild old enough for me to read this lovely book to. <3

#LoveYourShell blessings ~ Wendy