The Children's Room


We like to think the Children's Room is the crown jewel of Bear Pond Books. Located upstairs, it is where you will find secret passageways, hidden portals, hairy, loveable quarkbeasts, and a live Russian Tortoise named Veruca. Plus, read (or nap!) in a climbable, cozy chicken coop.  You will also find the perfect book for your coworkers' baby shower, great read aloud recommendations for your classroom, and creative diversions for your long-distance car trip.

The Children's Room is also the home of Veruca, the Russian Tortoise. Veruca is a male tortoise who is about 25-30 years old (he won't tell his exact age, such a gentleman). You can follow Veruca on Instagram @VerucatheBookstoreTortoise and of course visit him when you're in the store. You may catch him sitting under his sun lamp, munching on carrots or cucumbers, climbing his rocks or just chilling in his pile of hay. Whatever he's doing, he'll do it slowly!  Check out some FAQ's about Veruca below. 

We're always happy to help you find the right book - whether it's a whole reading list for summer or just a single recommendation. You can stop by the Children's Room, or give us a call (802-229-0774). We can help you find the appropriate and inspired reading selection for your little, middle, or big one!  

Jane's Favorite Books of the Season: 

For Educators and Kids of All Ages:



Q: Is Veruca a turtle?  

A. Veruca is a tortoise. One important distinction between the two is, tortoises live only on land and turtles live on land and in water.  

Q: How old is Veruca?

A: We don't actually know but we're guessing he's at least 25 to 30 years old. Russian Tortoises can live 50 or more years. 

Q: Is Veruca a male or female?

A: When we first got him (he lived at Rivendell Books before moving to Bear Pond) we thought he was a girl, which is why we named him Veruca after Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Later, we learned he is actually male. 

Q: Does Veruca hibernate? Does he go outside?

A: Veruca hibernates by burrowing into his hay to enjoy the dark. Some winters he hibernates for months, some not at all. He rarely goes outside but when he does, it's only in the summer. He does enjoy walks around the Children's Room for exercise now and then. 

Q: What does Veruca eat and drink?

A: Veruca is a vegetarian and enjoys vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, and dandelions. As a desert animal (originally), he does not drink water; instead he gets water from his food and by having a nice soak in the tub (no bubbles!). 

Q: How is Veruca handling his Instagram fame?

A: Veruca pretends to scorn social media, but we think he secretly enjoys being a celebrity. With that face, who wouldn't?

Q: Does Veruca like to read? 

A: Of course! Scroll down to see some of his favorite tortoise-inspired stories.

Tracking Tortoises: The Mission to Save a Galápagos Giant By Kate Messner, Jake Messner (Photographer) Cover Image
By Kate Messner, Jake Messner (Photographer)
ISBN: 9781541596115
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Millbrook Press (Tm) - September 7th, 2021

Memoirs of a Tortoise By Devin Scillian, Tim Bowers (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Devin Scillian, Tim Bowers (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781534110199
Availability: Usually ships in 2-5 days
Published: Sleeping Bear Press - May 15th, 2020

Rodney Was a Tortoise By Nan Forler, Yong Ling Kang (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Nan Forler, Yong Ling Kang (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780735266629
Availability: Usually ships in 2-5 days
Published: Tundra Books - February 15th, 2022

Turtle and Tortoise Are Not Friends By Mike Reiss, Ashley Spires (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Mike Reiss, Ashley Spires (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780060740313
Availability: Usually ships in 2-5 days
Published: HarperCollins - July 23rd, 2019