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Turkey Trouble

Turkey Trouble

5.0 7
by Wendi Silvano, Lee Harper (Illustrator)

Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it's almost Thanksgiving . . . and you're the main course. But Turkey has an idea—what if he doesn't look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead?
After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever!

Wendi Silvano's


Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it's almost Thanksgiving . . . and you're the main course. But Turkey has an idea—what if he doesn't look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead?
After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever!

Wendi Silvano's comical story is perfectly matched by Lee Harper's watercolors.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Turkey is in trouble—it's close to Thanksgiving and Farmer Jake is looking for him. But he has a plan: “What if he didn't look like a turkey? What if he looked like a horse?” And wearing a saddle and with a horse brush tied to the back of his head, he looks “just like a horse... almost.” His subsequent farm animal disguises (as a cow, pig and sheep, among others) are equally ineffective, and Silvano goes with a goofy gag for Turkey's final, successful costume: a pizza delivery man. With an autumnal palette of bright watercolors, Harper creates an exaggerated and emotive barnyard cast. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Curriculum Connections
Wendi Silvano's feathered protagonist knows that he's headed for Turkey Trouble (Marshall Cavendish, 2009; PreS-Gr 4), the 'kind of trouble where it's almost Thanksgiving...and you're the main course.' Refusing to go willingly to the platter, the plucky poultry hatches a clever plan: he will hide his identity by camouflaging himself as a less-than-Thanksgiving-worthy animal. However, when one hilariously jury-rigged costume after another falls flat, the fretful fowl must come up with a final brainstorm (and his best disguise yet). Stuffed with clever wordplay, groanable puns, and easy-to-ham-it-up animal sounds, the chuckle-inducing narrative makes a crowd-pleasing read-aloud. Lee Harper's engaging watercolor cartoons complement the text with opulent autumn hues and wry touches of humor. Turkey's getups are exuberantly silly and the animals' sardonic facial expressions are sublime. Use this book to inspire discussions or creative writing projects about Thanksgiving from the point of view of the designated main dish.
Family Magazine
As the main meal approaches, nervous Turkey experiments with a series of costumes—a plan to disguise himself—in an attempt to avoid becoming Thanksgiving dinner. Trying first to look like Horse, then Cow, and after that, Pig, Sheep, and even Rooster, Turkey is discovered every time by a different animal, who uses an identifying pun, as an exclamation to discourage Turkey's getup. The double page spreads show various aspects of the farm and its expressive faced animals. And the humorous watercolor paintings demonstrate Turkey's folly in his struggles to save himself, by trying to become something he is not. When it seems all is lost, and despite his best efforts, Turkey, or failing that, perhaps Rooster, will end up for dinner on Thanksgiving day at the farmer's table, a surprising idea from the garden forms as a solution to Turkey's dilemma. Author, and early childhood teacher, Wendi Silvano has cooked up a prankish tale, linked with comedic skill by artist Lee Harper's ridiculously laughable illustrations. It's a playful fit for the weeks between Halloween costumes and the holiday of harvest.
Hold onto your drumsticks, Turkey is in trouble. It's almost Thanksgiving and how can he avoid ending up on the dinner platter? He has an idea: he disguises himself as a horse, a cow, a pig, and a sheep, but none of them fool even the animals. Finally he tries being a rooster, but when Farmer Jake can't find Turkey, his wife says they could always eat rooster. Yikes! Turkey's final brainstorm is one last disguise-as a pizza delivery guy, and indeed his hide is saved by the tasty tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and onions growing on the farm. Turkey's costumes are ridiculously funny; for example, wearing a bucket on his beak with two slits for a pig snout and a scrub brush strapped to the back of his head for a horse's mane. Watercolor illustrations play up the bug-eyed animals with lots of in-your-face close-ups. Kids will eat this up this clever and comical tale-and very likely request pizza for Thanksgiving dinner, too.
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
This lively offering brings together a few classic childhood dilemmas—while we all love the feast; it is always a bit conflicting to think of the turkey running about merrily one day and dead the next—to be feasted upon. And then there is that other early childhood question—do we change who we are if we change our appearance? In this case, Turkey tries to disguise himself as other farmyard animals—but his turkey nature ends up showing through. Fortunately his last attempt to pass himself off as a pizza delivery man satisfies the human family and Turkey enjoys his best Thanksgiving ever. Harper's drawings have just the right degree of exaggeration to reassure young readers that Turkey will prevail in being himself in the end—and that is what they should do as well. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
PreS- Gr 3—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
Kirkus Reviews
Turkey's in the "kind of trouble where it's almost Thanksgiving...and you're the main course." Accordingly, Turkey tries on disguise after disguise, from horse to cow to pig to sheep, at each iteration being told that he looks nothing like the animal he's trying to mimic (which is quite true, as Harper's quirky watercolors make crystal clear). He desperately squeezes a red rubber glove onto his head to pass as a rooster, only to overhear the farmer suggest a poultry plan B when he's unable to turn up the turkey. Turkey's horrified expression as he stands among the peppers and tomatoes-in November? Chalk it up to artistic license-is priceless, but his surroundings give him an idea. Good fun, but it may lead to a vegetarian table or two. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.60(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.50(d)
AD400L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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Turkey Trouble 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Lottabooks More than 1 year ago
This book was a lot of fun. I work as the school librarian and the students loved the book. There is a fun activity on line that can be done with the kids. It is a wanted sign and the students draw the turkey in disguise. I read the book to Kindergarten through 6th grade since we did the activity, posted their pictures and offered a reward. Turned out that all students received a prize.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ABrantley More than 1 year ago
I was in a terribly grumpy mood when I sat down to read Turkey Trouble. I was happy I read it though. It brought a smile to my face and made me almost wish I had kids to share this book with each Thanksgiving. The illustrations were well done and fit the story perfectly. Turkey Trouble is such a cute book that I HIGHLY recommend it to all parents out there with small children. Kids are going to adore this book and parents will find themselves transformed to their childhood. Best of all, everyone will finish the book with a big smile on their face.
LauraIrrgang More than 1 year ago
Turkey Trouble is a hysterical tale for elementary kids. I think it would appeal to younger readers, too-my 3 year old was giggling hysterically over it. In an attempt to avoid becoming dinner, Turkey dons a variety of disguises to hide from the farmer. The other animals give him a hard time over his silly costumes, but Turkey keeps trying. When it looks like his friend Rooster might get eaten instead, Turkey pulls out all the stops. Give this book a try--I promise they'll like it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
libramom More than 1 year ago
Anyone who enyoys Dav Pilkey's "Twas the night before Thanksgiving" would really have to have this in their collection. Sympathy for the turkey's plight in the month of November abound as much as laughter at this turkey's considered solutions to his delima get more and more frantic.
KIDSteacher More than 1 year ago
I'm a preschool teacher and all teachers have their favorite stories. Well now I have a new thanksgiving favorite. I actually bought this from my great-nephew's 1st thanksgiving book and now I have to have my own copy. It is the cuties story and the illustrations are just as cute as the story. And it has a sweet ending. I showed it to my school's librian and she plans to get a copy as well.