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Turkey Tot by George Shannon

Share Turkey Tot with your kids this fall and all year ’round!

Turkey Tot (Holiday House, $16.99, available in ebook format, ages 3-6) by George Shannon with illustrations by Jennifer K. Mann, is reviewed by MaryAnne Locher.

Turkey Tot cover art

Turkey Tot written by George Shannon with illustrations by Jennifer K. Mann, Holiday House, 2013.

Turkey Tot. The title made me think it might be a good book to review this time of year. Other than having a turkey as the main character, this book has nothing to do with Thanksgiving. That is, unless you want a book with a turkey in it who would be smart enough to think of a way to escape being cooked for dinner! But that’s not the story.

Turkey Tot, written by George Shannon with artwork by award winning illustrator Jennifer K. Mann, is so engaging with its repetitive verse and brightly colored illustrations, I almost didn’t notice the lessons hidden in the story.

Chick, Hen, Pig, and Turkey Tot are four friends who all want the same thing; sweet juicy blackberries. The only problem is the blackberries are too high on the bush for any of them to reach. Turkey Tot, being quite the visionary, gets excited when he finds some string, and decides that if he could only find balloons, he and his friends could all float up to the blackberries. There are no balloons to be found, but Turkey Tot finds a hammer, nails, and two tin cans. His friends don’t share in his excitement, think he is being silly, and go off to take a nap leaving Turkey Tot, who “has been different since the day he hatched,” alone.

Little ones will see how sometimes, being different is a good thing, especially when you set a goal and have the creativity, ability, and determination to think outside of the box to achieve it.

 


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Jack & The Hungry Giant: Eat Right With MyPlate by Loreen Leedy

 HELPING KIDS TO MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES AND EAT RIGHT

Jack & The Hungry Giant: Eat Right With MyPlate by Loreen Leedy from Holiday House Books For Young People

Jack & The Hungry Giant: Eat Right With MyPlate by Loreen Leedy from Holiday House Books For Young People

Jack & the Hungry Giant: Eat Right with MyPlate, (Holiday House, $16.95, ages 4-8 written and illustrated by Loreen Leedy, is reviewed by Rita Zobayan.

Teaching kids about nutrition is an important, if somewhat difficult, task. Young kids might understand the need to eat healthily, but don’t necessarily want to. To help parents and nutrition teachers with this endeavor, Loreen Leedy has written Jack & the Hungry Giant: Eat Right with MyPlate. At 32 pages, Jack & the Hungry Giant: Eat Right with MyPlate is long enough to present the necessary information and short enough to keep the attention of young readers.

Just like in the fairy tale, Jack climbs the beanstalk and meets a hungry giant. This giant is named Waldorf and he isn’t interested in eating Jack. Nope, he is, in fact, quite the kitchen connoisseur and is far more engaged in preparing a feast for his wife Zofia. Jack joins him in the kitchen, and together they transform vegetables, fruit, grains, protein, and dairy items into plates of delicious and healthy meals. During the process, Waldorf and Jack helpfully name the foods in each of these categories and explain the concept of the nutrition plate. (The plate replaced the food pyramid in 2011. More information on the food plate can be found at choosemyplate.gov.) They also show options for exercise, another important component of keeping healthy.

The artwork is bright and bold. Most of the book is illustrated with cartoonish style drawings. Peppered along the way are (what look like) scanned images of food items, such as brown rice, bran cereal, cottage cheese, and lettuce. Be sure to keep an eye on Waldorf and Zofia’s wily orange-striped tiger cat!

Jack & the Hungry Giant: Eat Right with MyPlate is a good start to eating right!

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