Tortoises and Box Turtles

Tortoises and Box Turtles (Complete Pet Owner’s Manual) Review

Basic Information:

  • Author: Hartmut Wilke
  • Original Language: German
  • Available in English: Yes
  • Series: Complete Pet Owner’s Manual
  • Number of pages (paperback): 64 pages
  • Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764111817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764111815
Tortoises and Box Turtles
Tortoises and Box Turtles

Official Description

This handsomely illustrated book presents a wealth of information on the purchase, housing, and general care of tortoises and box turtles. Books in the Complete Pet Owner’s Manuals series present basic information about pets for new or soon-to-be owners, as well as detailed information for other animal hobbyists. Advice and instruction cover purchase, equipment, general care and maintenance, and much more. Texts emphasize the basics and are easy for all readers to understand, but most titles in this series also present facts that even experienced owners and hobbyists will find new and useful. All books in this series are filled with high-quality full-color photos and instructive line drawings

Review: Tortoises and Box Turtles (Complete Pet Owner’s Manual)

Wilke Hartmut is a knowledgeable turtle and tortoise keeper and he has written a number of good books about how to care for turtles. This book is no exception and contains a lot of information on how to keep and care for different tortoises. Box turtles are sometimes referred to as box tortoises and that is likely why they have been grouped together with other tortoises in this book even though their needs differ greatly from most tortoises since box turtles prefer a more moist environment. The desert-dwelling box turtles have more in common with tortoises than the forest or water (aquatic box turtle) dwelling species.

This does not mean that the book is bad just because it contains information on tortoises and box turtles. It just means that the author faces a challenge to make sure that he specifies which species a certain advice adheres to. I think that Wilke Hartmut does a pretty good job of presenting the information in a way that prevents misunderstandings.

Asian Box Turtle in the Water
Asian Box Turtle in the Water

I have seen critic who claims that this book doesn’t contain any information about box turtles. This is not true. But it is also an understandable sentiment if you are buying this book because you are looking for a book about box turtles. This is not a book about box turtles. This is a book about different tortoises and land-living turtles such as box turtles. It contains a lot of good information and is well worth its price if are looking for just that. A book about different types of tortoises. This is a good book if you want to buy a book that introduces you to different tortoises and can help you choose which type of tortoises is the right type for you.


I do not feel that I can recommend this book to people who are looking for information about box turtles. The book is geared more towards people who want a general overview of different types of turtles and tortoises rather than people looking for information about box turtles or any other specific group of turtles and tortoises. It is a great introductory type book about tortoises but anyone looking for a book about how to keep and care for box turtles has better options out there. Books that focus solely on box turtles and that therefore can contain more information about box turtles. A book that focuses on a broader spectrum of topics will after all never be able to go into the same depth as a book about a specific niche can. This is especially true in the case of a 64-page book like Tortoises and Box Turtles (Complete Pet Owner’s Manual).

If you are looking for a book exclusively about box turtles I recommend that you take a look at Box Turtles by Tess Cook or The Box Turtle Manual by Philippe De Vosjoli and Roger J. Klingenberg.

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