"The Turkey's Treat"

The Turkey's Treat by Marie Sanderlin Metroke: Book Cover

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Book: The Turkey’s Treat

Author: Marie Sanderlin Metroke

Illustrator: Victor Guiza

Publisher: Outskirts Press Inc., 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1-4327-3324-7

Related website: www.outskirtspress.com/MarieMetroke

Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)

Reading Level: Ages 2-9

Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)

Reviewed by Wayne Walker 

     Metroke, Marie Sanderlin.  The Turkey’s Treat (published in 2009 by Outskirts Press Inc.).  How would you feel if it’s almost Christmas and you didn’t have either a tree or the traditional turkey for dinner?  Four days before Christmas, it’s snowing but Jeff Watson doesn’t see a turkey in the refrigerator or even a tree.  He and his sister Tammy ask their mom if they can run to the store.  She replies that if it doesn’t snow too much, maybe they can make it after Dad cleans out their old Chevy van.  First, they stop to pick out a Christmas tree.  Then they go to the grocery, which happens to have a live Christmas turkey to give away.  Jeff wants it.  The bird is kept in a pen with a sign, "Do Not Touch."  Mom even warns Jeff, "Don’t touch that bird."  However, Jeff reaches over the fence to pet the turkey anyway, and when it bites Jeff’s finger he loses his balance and falls into the pen, allowing the turkey to escape.  You can imagine the chaos that ensues.  But what lesson does Jeff learn from the experience?  And what will Jeff do with the turkey if he gets it?

     The humorous antics, well illustrated with the large colorful drawings by Victor Guiza, will have youngsters laughing aloud while the story by Marie Sanderlin Metroke still emphasizes the importance of listening to their parents by showing the consequences that can happen when they don’t.  Another underlying message is the value of family and learning that Christmas isn’t just about presents under the tree or what to eat for dinner but instead it’s being able to spend time with loved ones.  Some readers might find the description of Jeff, who wears glasses, as "the four-eyed readhead" a little questionable, but parents who must cope with children who have hyperactivity will surely appreciate Dad’s observation, "When I try to keep up with you, I really feel my age."   All in all, The Turkey’s Treat is a fun holiday book that children should enjoy.

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