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Yertle the Turtle - Dr. Seuss

March 18, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet


Yertle the Turtle shows off his greed for power in this digital edition. The original print title, Yertle the Turtle and other stories contained 4 tales and was published in 1958. The tale of Yertle, the turtle king, is essentially about greed and short-sighted leadership. The 'king' of the turtles wants a higher throne, so with his total power over his turtle subjects, he commands them to sit under him. This makes his throne a bit higher, but he wants more, of course.

Yertle insists that every turtle in the pond must sit one on top of another under him until he is towering over the world. This lasts just long enough for the bottom turtle, Mack, to finally get fed up. Mack burps, causing the the whole turtle-tower to tumble into the muddy pond, making Yertle king now of only the mud. This makes for an interesting moral tale about how absolute power comes to absolutely nothing in the end. Perhaps some of the current world leaders, using their subjects with similar disregard, could take a lesson from Dr. Seuss?

As a digital offering, this book has simple settings, easy page turns and great narration with each word highlighted as it is read. You can also tap on any word to hear it spoken, even in the 'read-it-myself' mode. There are also lots of things in every picture to tap to hear and see words for illustrated elements, like scenery and characters in the story. This book is not as colorful as some Seuss books, but the illustrations are otherwise delightful and filled with the same whimsy that makes Dr. Seuss so popular.

Although each page is essentially a still image, many pages begin by panning over Seuss' classic original artwork, zooming in and out to show off each segment of text, a nice semi-animated style. The book has no real animation, but most of the items pictured in the story react to a light tap with a visual image of the word with accompanying audio (for example, tap on a turtle and the word "turtle" appears with audio saying “turtle”).

This book was a favorite of mine as a child and it's a wonderful chance to share it in modern form with my own child. Since it's just one of a group of four tales from the original edition, this title is shorter than some of the other digital Seuss books currently available in the app store, making it a good length for bedtime. it's also a good cautionary tale about letting power go to your head.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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Yertle the Turtle - Dr. Seuss

March 18, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

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Dr. Seuss

Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Length (time):
10 - 12 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 4 - 10 +

English •

Length (pages):
30 Pages


Story Synopsis - Yertle the Turtle - Dr. Seuss

Yertle the Turtle is a 1958 children's book by Dr. Seuss. The original title contains several stories. This is the title story and involves the tale of Yertle, a turtle king of a small pond. Unsatisfied with the stone that serves as his throne, he commands the other turtles to stack themselves beneath him so that he can see further and expand his kingdom. However, the stacked turtles are in pain and Mack, the turtle at the very bottom of the pile, is suffering the most. Mack asks Yertle for a respite, but Yertle just tells him to shut up. Then Yertle decides to expand his kingdom and commands more and more turtles to add to his throne. Mack makes a second request for a respite because the increased weight is now causing extreme pain to the turtles at the bottom of the pile. Again Yertle yells at Mack to shut up. Then Yertle notices the moon rising above him as the night approaches. Furious that something "dares to be higher than Yertle the King", he decides to call for even more turtles in an attempt to rise above it. However, before he can give the command, Mack decides he has had enough. He burps, shaking the stack of turtles and tossing Yertle off into the mud, leaving him "King of the Mud" and freeing the others. [Source: Wikipedia]


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Orientation: Landscape & Portrait

Format: Universal


Autoplay, Read-it-myself, Read-to-me, News on/off, Sound Effects on/off, Links: Web, Email, Twitter, Facebook, AppStore

App Release Date:


Size: 11.35 MB

Version: 1.08

Lite Version Available: No



Yertle the Turtle - Dr. Seuss

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