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Duck for Turkey Day Hardcover – September 1, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1–3—In school, Tuyet constructs a pinecone turkey and learns about Thanksgiving. At home, the child is dismayed because her mother is serving a family recipe from Vietnam of duck with spicy sauce instead of a traditional dinner. She counts her money to see if she has enough to buy a turkey, and then learns that the Saigon Supermarket where they shop does not sell it. Tuyet sets her pinecone creation beside her plate, so there will be a turkey on the Thanksgiving table. She enjoys a wonderful dinner "with lots of good food and family fun" and even has seconds of the delicious duck. Her worries return when she has to admit to her class that she did not eat turkey for the holiday. To her surprise, her classmates chime in with the alternative dishes they had on their tables. This sweet tale is written in straightforward prose and provides a brief glimpse of another culture. Mitter's bright illustrations accented with cozy details draw readers into Tuyet's happy home and enhance the story's heartwarming message.—Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Inside Flap
Tuyet is upset when she finds her Vietnamese family is having duck instead of turkey for Thanksgiving, but she feels better when she finds some of her classmates also will not have turkey.
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Tuyet tells her mother they have to have a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Mom says no, they will be having a duck for dinner. Tuyet's grandmother arrives from New York. Tuyet explains to her grandmother that they are having duck instead of turkey. Grandma proudly tells Tuyet that they are using her recipe from Vietnam for duck and that their family likes duck better than turkey.
Tuyet is so upset about having duck instead of turkey that she goes to her room to count her money. She decides to buy a turkey at the market if she has enough money.
Does Tuyet have enough money to purchase the turkey? What kind of meal does Tuyet have for Thanksgiving dinner? What do you think she tells her classmates and teacher when she returns to school? You'll just have to read this darling story to find out what happens to Tuyet's Thanksgiving dinner and discover the true lesson she learns about Thanksgiving from her family, teacher, and classmates. This little gem of a book is a keeper. Your child will want to read it over and over!
That's what makes Duck for Turkey Day a wonderful read. My first grader learned about the Vietnamese tradition of eating duck for family get-togethers. Initially, young Tuyet is upset when she learns that her mother and grandmother plan to cook duck for Thanksgiving. But it's Turkey Day, she thinks, so how can they not eat turkey? The idea of eating anything but turkey seems wrong to Tuyet and even though she settles down to eating duck on Thanksgiving with the rest of her family, she eventually breaks down during circle time at school when her classmates are sharing their Thanksgiving experiences. It is only when her other classmates share that they too eat different foods during Thanksgiving such as enchiladas, roast beef, tofu turkey, lamb, etc. that she realizes it is not about the food, but about giving thanks for having family and friends together at Thanksgiving. A wonderful book that should be in every library and school collection.