THE TURKEY GIRL by Betty Baker


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An easy-reading domestication, derived perhaps from the American Indian folk tale (though Berson gives his the usual European cast and costumes), about Tally who lives alone with turkeys in a hut on the edge of town. During a cold, lean winter, she diligently scrapes away the ShOW so the turkeys can find something to eat. There are two instances of grateful turkey magic--in the second they provide Tally with fine feather clothing to attend a ball in town (but she is discovered late in the evening and flees in disgrace)--and two instances of Tally's brave protection of the turkeys: First, she beats off attacking dogs who belong to the king's son, and later she kills the wolf that the prince had come to town to hunt. In both cases the prince is miffed, but one of his hunters is impressed, and so the story ends with the hunter and his wife adopting Tally and taking her turkeys along. Though Berson's choreography is a little too elegant here, and Baker plots and spells out where a well-honed traditional telling would leave well enough alone, there's reader-snagging strength in the Cinderella archetype and her most unswanlike birds.

Pub Date: April 4th, 1983
Publisher: Macmillan