DUCK FOR TURKEY DAY is my pick for today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday post!
Written: Jacqueline Jules
illustrated by: Kathryn Mitter
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (2009)
Suitable for ages: 6-8
Topics/Themes: Vietnamese culture, American Thanksgiving, cultural awareness, cultural diversity, acceptance, assimilation, acculturation
Brief Synopsis: DUCK FOR TURKEY DAY is the story of a girl of Vietnamese heritage who learns about Thanksgiving in school. The class makes a turkey from pine cones, sing Turkey songs, and her teacher refers to the day as turkey day, but her family always serves duck. Tuyet’s plan is to convince her family to eat turkey, known by many as the ‘traditional’ Thanksgiving food. But they end up using her grandmother’s recipe for duck like they always do and Tuyet even has a second helping. When school resumes after the holiday, Tuyet is reluctant to talk about her holiday meal until other classmates tell about their dinners that included lamb, enchiladas, and noodles.
Opening pages: To get ready for Thanksgiving, Tuyet’s class sang Turkey songs. They made pine cone turkeys. They talked about Pilgrims and Native Americans.
“See you Monday.” Mrs. Cook said when the bell rang. “Have a good Turkey Day.”
Why I like this book: DUCK FOR TURKEY DAY is a delightful book which introduces children to Vietnamese culinary traditions. It is a perfect fit to include in a #weneeddiversebooks list. In addition to addressing cultural diversity, there is multi-generational component weaved into the story that I also enjoyed. It’s is a wonderful story that demonstrates there is no ‘right way’ to celebrate the American holiday of Thanksgiving. The day is also about giving thanks and spending time with family, not only eating turkey!
Click here for the Children’s Choice Award lesson plan on page 12.
Click here for the library sparks lesson plan.
Click here for multicultural Thanksgiving Songs by the Jacqueline Jules.
Click here to see the book trailer.
For more of today’s book reviews, click here go to author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book page.