Saturday, November 21, 2009

REVIEW: Setting the Turkeys Free

Nikola-Lisa, W.  (2004).  Setting the Turkeys Free.  New York:  Jump at the Sun.


Interest Rating: !!!!

In preparation for Thanksgiving on Thursday, I thought I'd post about Setting the Turkeys Free now, since it lends itself to the classic Thanksgiving art activity of making a turkey with the outline of a hand (although the book instructs using paint.  My teachers never trusted me with something so messy.  I did enough damage with markers and glitter).

As you can probably see from the cover, all of the illustrations in this book feature a turkey that is made in the shape of a child's hand.  And even better (at least in my opinion) the hand used to make the turkey is that of a black child (who is shown at the beginning of the book), so black readers can feel represented.

Setting the Turkeys Free begins with a young boy giving instructions on how to make a hand-turkey.  As the boy continues to construct his work of art, he begins to narrate the illustration--a wonderful example to set for young readers.  The boy creates a threatening fox who wants turkey for dinner.  The boy must use his imagination and arts-and-crafts skills to save his turkeys from becoming a foxy meal.


Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaake a hand-turkey, of course!  If students made cut-outs of their hand-turkeys, they could use them in a puppet show.

A teacher could also encourage students to narrate as they create other art projects and to make use of multiple mediums when creating their masterpieces.

Quotes of Note:

"Come see!
My dog and I are making a turkey!"

"Uh-oh!  A storm is coming.  And what's that I see?  Foxy the fox!  Where'd he come from?"

"No, Foxy the fox!  You can't have my turkeys!  But what should I do?"

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