A determined turkey gets the sweet, juicy, high-hanging berries.
Turkey Tot is wandering about the bucolic farmstead—the reader winningly transported there via Mann’s easy-handed, dark-lined, watercolor-washed artwork—where he lives with his friends Chick, Pig and Hen, in search of something to eat. Blackberries beckon, but they are too high to reach. So Turkey Tot looks about for some way to access the berries. His friends think all his ideas are cockamamie—and repeatedly so in Shannon’s polyphonic refrain: “You’re talking silly talk.” “We can’t reach the berries, and that is that.” “He’s been different since the day he hatched.” They decide to take a nap by the pond. But Turkey Tot will not be discouraged. Perhaps his first few ideas are a little off note—one has him finding a ball of string to which, he figures, he will tie a balloon and float Pig up to berryland—but he finally manages to wire all his different schemes together and snag the berries. Then he shares them with his uninspired comrades, which is more than the Little Red Hen would have done. Good for Turkey Tot: freethinking, resolved, generous.
Let’s hope that when November rolls around, Turkey Tot has become the farm’s mascot, not its dinner. (Picture book. 3-6)