Too Many Turkeys
By Linda White; illustrated by Megan Lloyd
Let’s face it, folks! Starting with Thanksgiving, the holidays will be different this year.
With the pandemic seemingly burgeoning on many fronts across the United States, families are thinking twice about gathering in typically large numbers….or gathering at all, as in self-protective mode for those older and more vulnerable in the family. And, for many of us, those family members are the very people and generation that held the treasured traditions together for decades.
Maybe this year will be different, but here’s a suggestion, why not have a shared read via Zoom or other modes of communication such as Face time, allowing participation for the young readers on one end of the gathering.
Set some rules in place before hand as:
What book you pick.
Who will read.
One speaker at a time.
It doesn’t even have to be a Thanksgiving book, but maybe a favorite of a young reader that would like to share it with the family.
Listening is hard for many of us, but reading BUILDS SUSTAINED ATTENTION SPAN. And for many students online now for much of their education, that building of attention span, through reading for pleasure, can only help.
No, I have to concur that it’s not the same as seeing Granddad carve the noble beast or having Aunt Mary pass the yams or seeing Gram slice the first piece of apple or pumpkin pie, but sitting TOGETHER VIRTUALLY, wherever we are and listening to each other and a story, comes a bit closer than we many imagine.
We can even ask each to share their favorite Thanksgiving family story from years past….now THAT is sure to bring some laughter and smiles to the conversation.
And, on the plus side, it can help hold at bay, overdone political back and forth that seems to hold forth in election years when families gather.
So, in the next week or so I will suggest some picture books that you can get ahead of Thanksgiving to ready the family for the “Read at Thanksgiving.”
Young readers may want to hold forth in the reading or take turns with the adults that are partaking in the read.
Below is the first of the suggested Thanksgiving “Read at Thanksgiving” books.
And, if it turns out well, be prepared for cries of “Read it AGAIN” or have some other titles on hand to keep the flow going.
Too Many Turkeys
by Linda White; illustrated by Megan Lloyd
I don’t know about you, but when I sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, there is always a twinge of guilt. My youngest daughter ALWAYS says a prayer for the noble bird that sits glistening on our festive table. Maybe you have young ones that have a similar feeling and if you do, “Too Many Turkeys” is at first glance, a very deceiving title as to where it is headed. But it will make kids feel good about toms in general and the story and illustrations are chock a block with turkeys.
It’s the story of Belle and Fred, their tiny farm, and the “added benefits” for gardens that come with a turkey who wanders onto the farm. At first glance Belle is horrified at the thought of her prize garden rampaged by the “infernal mess” the turkey, they name Buford, will make. Well, Buford DOES make a mess, but it is a mess with benefits!
Suddenly, Belle’s gardens are the envy of her neighbors. A new ingredient has been added, courtesy of Buford! Belle smile benignly and says when asked, “What’s the secret?”, Belle innocently replies, “My special formula fertilizer. A little of this, a smidge of that.” It’s a smidge all right – a smidge from Buford!
The fly er turkey in the ointment is the allure of Belle’s veggie garden and the tiny farm is soon awash with tons of OTHER turkeys. Tricks of every sort are devised by Fred to fool the tenacious turkeys and get them “off the farm.”
Well sir, the jig is up, and the only way to see clear of this sea of turkeys is a bit of old fashioned neighborliness.
Fred trades Belle’s secret formula for her lush gardens ( and even a generous portion of her secret, for the help of their neighbors in finding new homes for the pervasive poults!
Some of Belle’s seeds, a bunch of the “secret ingredients” plus a turkey each, depart with every helpful neighbor. One hand washes the other, as they say.
All find homes save Buford who, if your young readers peer under the porch on the last page, has found his turkey soul mate and will be “talking turkey” again to Belle and Fred!
Bountiful gardens are no accident and for the agro-interested, this turkey tale is timely for Thanksgiving! Gobble gobble! Happy Thanksgiving Buford!
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