A THANKSGIVING TURKEY

Scheer (By the Light of the Captured Moon, p. 265, etc.) does a fine job conveying a sense of the ties that bind us to a place, in this case the back hills of Virginia. As remembered by the boy, he and his mother go to live with his granddad on his farm. Granddad is getting on and his daughter wants to keep an eye on him. It is hard for the boy to leave his school and his friends, but simply put, he knows that what he is doing is the right thing. It doesn’t take long before he enters into the elemental rhythms of farm life and indeed comes to like it. Early one morning, Granddad invites the boy to go turkey hunting with him. It is a Faulknerian moment, charged with the import of conduct and place. Tom eludes the hunters that morning, and all the mornings right up to Thanksgiving. The mother announces that she has saved enough pennies to buy a turkey, but Granddad and the boy have one more go. This time the turkey does come into view, a great old bird, its beard long enough to touch the ground. The boy is ready to acquit himself when Granddad stands up and frightens the bird off. It doesn’t take the boy long to put two and two together: that bird has been in the wooded hills as long as Granddad. The boy remembers that a store-bought bird never tasted so good, especially when he sees the serene look on his grandfather’s face. Himler’s (The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh, p. 261, etc.) watercolors catch the smoky quality of the hills in all their luminescence, and Scheer is equally adept at evoking the sacredness of life and land. A lovely memory. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2001

ISBN: 0-8234-1674-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2001

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ALWAYS MORE LOVE

An interactive book works to get its titular message across to readers.

The narrator, an anthropomorphic cartoon heart with big eyes and stick arms and legs, is nothing if not exuberant in its attempts, clumsy and cloying as they may be. “I love you so much, / but there’s more in my heart. / How is that possible? / Well, where do I start? // Now move in close, and you will see / just how much you mean to me. // My love is huge—below, above. / As you can tell, there’s always more love!” The page following the instruction to move in shows a close-up of the top of the heart and its eyes, one stick arm pointing skyward, though despite the admonition “you can tell,” readers will glean nothing about love from this picture. À la Hervé Tullet, the book prompts readers to act, but the instructions can sometimes be confusing (see above) and are largely irrelevant to the following spread, supposedly triggered by the suggested actions. The heart, suddenly supplied with a painter’s palette and a beret and surrounded by blobs of color, instructs readers to “Shake the book to see what I can be.” The page turn reveals hearts of all different colors, one rainbow-striped, and then different shapes. Most troublingly, the heart, who is clearly meant to be a stand-in for loved ones, states, “I’m always here for you,” which for too many children is heartbreakingly not true.

Skip. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1376-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Not the most eggceptional tale on the Easter story shelf but still a fun-enough outing for fans of Turkey’s holiday-themed...

TURKEY'S EGGCELLENT EASTER

From the Turkey Trouble series

The fourth entry in the Turkey Trouble series finds Turkey and his animal friends attending a children’s Easter egg hunt at a park next to Turkey’s farm.

Turkey and his pals want to win an “eggstraspecial” prize at the egg hunt, but the event is only for children—not animals. So the group of animal friends decides to attend the egg hunt in disguise and treat their adventure as a “secret mission.” Their disguises include dark glasses and costumes suggesting a rabbit, a bee, and a bunch of daffodils, but each attempt to participate in the egg hunt is rebuffed by the human attendees. The animals work together to create a large, egg-shaped costume for Turkey from a wicker basket, and Turkey and the boy who finds him in egg mode both win special prizes. Turkey shares his prize of a huge, jelly-bean–topped pizza with all his animal buddies. The mildly humorous story has funny animal characters, inventive action, and lots of puns incorporating “egg” into other words. Cartoon-style watercolor-and-pencil illustrations add to the humor with amusing animal expressions and the ongoing series theme of silly costumes. Several of the children at the egg hunt are children of color; the other human characters present white.

Not the most eggceptional tale on the Easter story shelf but still a fun-enough outing for fans of Turkey’s holiday-themed series. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4037-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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