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Turkey Trouble

Last updated Monday, November 30, 2015

Author: Wendi Silvano
Illustrator: Lee Harper
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 0761455299
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2015

Synopsis: From School Library Journal: As Thanksgiving approaches, Turkey fears that he will be the centerpiece of the holiday meal. Thus begins his quest for the perfect disguise so he won't be found when the time arrives. He ties a brush on the back of his head and wears a tiny saddle because surely no one would eat a horse for dinner. But the animals still recognize him. He tries to become a cow, a pig, a sheep, and a rooster. He does not look like any of them. When he hears Farmer Jake tell his wife that if they can't find the turkey, maybe they should eat the rooster for dinner, the protagonist comes up with the perfect ruse. This book is as silly as Denys Cazet's offerings about Minnie and Moo (HarperCollins) and just as funny. Harper's comical watercolor illustrations pair naturally with Silvano's clever, filled-with-wordplay text. A first choice for holiday collections.Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME END

Note to readers:
•  This book is set during Thanksgiving, so you can modify it for Christmas. Or have the kids say "Christmas" every time you read "Thanksgiving".

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Why would a turkey be in "trouble"?
•  How does the turkey on the cover feel? What is he thinking about?
•  What did your family eat at Thanksgiving? What do you eat on Christmas or other holidays?


•  main course - the most substantial course of a meal.
•  grumble - complain or protest about something in a bad-tempered but typically muted way
•  crowed - utter its characteristic loud cry (synonyms: cry, squawk, screech, caw, call)
•  squawk - make a loud, harsh noise. (synonyms: screech, squeal, shriek, scream, croak, crow, caw, cluck, cackle, hoot, cry, call)
•  desperately - very worried

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What are some of the ways Turkey dressed up to NOT look like a turkey? What was his BEST disguise? His WORST disguise?
•  If you were to describe Turkey to someone who has not read this book, what words (adjectives) would you use? (e.g. clever, smart)
•  If you were Turkey, what disguise would you have tried?

Craft ideas:
•  Create a turkey in disguise. Cut out or draw a turkey (can trace your hand), then add a disguise.
•  Make snowflakes. http://chicfluff.org/2012/12/13/using-a-coffee-filter-to-make-a-snowflake-already-in-a-circle-gives-the-3d-effect-when-open/
•  Check out our December craft ideas on Pinterest! https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/december-2015-crafts

Special activities:
•  Play animal charades - act like an animal & have others guess what you are (no sounds)

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!