TRC Read to Kids

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Gracias the Thanksgiving Turkey

Tired of this picture?

In Gracias The Thanksgiving Turkey, Joy Cowley puts a spin on a holiday story that will engage children who have had it up to here with pilgrims!

This brightly colored children's tale follows the story of Miguel, a young Puerto Rican boy living in New York City. Miguel is thrilled to receive a present from his father, a truck driver who spends his days on the road.

"Fatten this turkey for Thanksgiving," the note from Miguel's father reads. "I’ll be home to share it with you. Love from Papá."

Conflict ensues when Miguel befriends Gracias the turkey, whom he then hesitates to eat. Problems range from where the turkey will sleep 
in a tiny New York apartment, to whether or not the turkey can come to Mass. I won't spoil the ending, but kids will love Miguel's struggle over Gracias -- as well as his reunion with his father.

Gracias is characterized by bright pictures and colors, and a multi-cultural dimension makes this story unique in a way that is missing from many more traditional Thanksgiving stories.

For activities to go along with this book, consider the tried-and-true hand turkey: have the kids trace their hands on construction paper and cut out the tracings. Have them give the turkeys names, like Miguel did with Gracias. Talk about pets that they might have or have had, and how to take care of them.

For ideas of other Thanksgiving-related activities, check out this website.

Post by The Reading Connection intern Anna McCormally.

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