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DUCK FOR TURKEY DAY by Jacqueline Jules


by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Kathryn Mitter

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8075-1734-5
Publisher: Whitman

In Tuyet’s elementary-school classroom the days leading up to Thanksgiving—Turkey Day, as Mrs. Cook calls it—are full of turkeys: in songs, crafts and stories. So when her mother tells her they’ll be having Ba Noi’s special Vietnamese duck dish for their Thanksgiving meal, Tuyet is distressed. It’s delicious, and she even has seconds, but what will the other kids think? Turns out her multicultural classmates ate noodles, lamb, roast beef, enchiladas and tofu as well as the customary gobbler. While this tale gets at the way differing culinary customs are applied by Americans of many backgrounds to the Thanksgiving dinner, it fails to acknowledge the mythology—good and bad—that surrounds the celebration, making it ultimately as flat as Mitter’s crisp, pastel-hued, perspective-free illustrations. Does only half the job. (Picture book. 5-8)