Tag Archives: Ducks

Run, Turkey, Run: Guest Post by Jacqueline Bodnar

Please note: Vegbooks has moved to vegbooks.orgThis is one of the last reviews that will be posted at this URL. This review, as well as all of your favorite past posts, are up on the new site. See you there!

In this holiday story, the poor turkey remains on the run, even when he thinks he is finally safe. The farmer plans to cook him for Thanksgiving and when he sets out to get him, the turkey runs. He ends up using multiple methods around the farmyard to camouflage himself from the farmer, who ends up sparing his life for this feast.

As the farmer’s family sits down to Thanksgiving dinner, the farmer is shown dreaming of a cooked turkey. The woman is staring at the empty turkey platter on the table, while the two children happily dine on grilled cheese sandwiches, peas and mashed potatoes. No turkey is served at this holiday feast, much to the disappointment of the adults in the story.

This is a fun book that gives kids a chance to root for the turkey as he continues running away from the farmer. Vegetarian parents and kids alike will appreciate the way the turkey outsmarts the farmer. It is important to note that the story takes place at an old-fashioned farm that depicts other animals, such as pigs, horses, and ducks.

Ages 4-8.

About Jacqueline: Jacqueline Bodnar is a professional writer who blogs about vegetarian issues at VegBlogger.com. She and her husband have been ethical vegetarians since 1995 and are raising two vegetarian children. She is also a nature lover, environmentalist, and avid reader. Jacqueline is a Michigan native, who now resides in Florida, after spending almost a decade in Las Vegas.

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Have You Seen My Duckling?

Beautiful illustrations depict an American wetland in Nancy Tafuri‘s Have You Seen My Duckling?

When kiddo was little, she enjoyed looking for the lost duckling, who is barely in view in each of the scenes.  Now that she’s 4, she enjoys identifying the other wildlife.  She points out the beaver and the frog, and I deliberate over the other animals.  I’ve decided that Momma and the ducklings are mallards, the heron is probably a green, and the turtle is a painted turtle.  (Anyone know the bird near the end?  Some kind of merganser?)

Ages 0-5.

The Lonely Scarecrow

All that the scarecrow in Tim Preston and Maggie Kneen’s picture book wants is for the animals to like him.  If only he weren’t so, well, scary.

This simple story follows the progression of the seasons with stunning illustrations of foxes, badgers, ducks, mice, and even a snail.  The wheat grows, the animals scurry away from the passing of the combine, and the leaves fall from the trees.  Eventually, a heavy snow falls, transforming the ugly scarecrow into a jolly snowman.  At last, the animals come near to be with him! And when the snow melts away, they remain his friends.

The messages in this book are many: the importance of patience, the changes brought by the passage of time, the kinship of all animals.

Ages 3-8.

Make Way for Ducklings

Published in 1941, Robert McCloskey‘s well-known picture book conveys respect for animals and kindness toward them.  Mr. and  Mrs. Mallard set up their home in Boston, carefully selecting a safe location, building their nest, and hatching eight ducklings.   When they agree to meet in the pond in the Public Garden, Mrs. Mallard must navigate the way from the Charles River to the park with her eight little ones.

The challenge of Mrs. Mallard’s route is navigating the busy street with the ducklings in tow.  Happily, a police officer named Michael comes to her rescue, stopping traffic at one intersection and eventually phoning three other officers to assist with getting the ducks safely across Beacon Street.

As someone who is mindful of wildlife along my route (going so far as to carry turtles across the street when I see them), I love the message this book conveys.  Pair that with Mr. McCloskey’s attention to detail and gentle prose, and the result is a timeless book that I expect my child is likely to read to her own someday.

Ages 3-8.

The Magic Finger

Ever get so mad at someone that you see red?  When that happens to the narrator of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake‘s book The Magic Finger, she points her magic finger and well … things happen.

Veg kids will probably relate when the narrator gets angry at her friends and neighbors, the Greggs, for hunting deer and ducks, and they’ll be delighted to find out that the result of her finger-pointing is that the Greggs and the ducks change places for a night.  When the ducks take up arms and confront the Greggs about the slaughter of their family, the lesson is brought home.  The Greggs promise never to hunt again; instead, they destroy their guns and put flowers on the graves of the dead ducks.

Ages 8-12.  For more reviews, visit Goodreads.