In 1860, a somewhat simple-minded fifteen-year-old boy attempts to herd one thousand turkeys from Missouri to Denver, Colorado, in hopes of selling them at a profit.
Thanksgiving is a popular national holiday celebrated in North America, with Canada’s celebration on the second Monday of October, and the United States’ holiday on the fourth Thursday of November. Other countries around the world have similar festivals or celebrations of the harvest, but a turkey feast is not necessarily a featured event. Whether or not your family chooses to celebrate this holiday with a turkey dinner, a Tofurky meal or a vegan vegetable pizza, books about turkeys seem to be popular with children this time of year. Some of my favorite stories feature turkeys who have escaped their day of doom; for some reason children find the unique methods of their flight to freedom completely hysterical. I have included a few of my favorite escaping turkey stories as fun books to read aloud to children in November. To round out the silly stories of escaping turkeys, I also love to sing the song Albuquerque Turkey.
(Tune: “My Darlin’ Clementine”)
Albuquerque is a turkey
And he’s feathered and he’s fine.
And he wobbles and he gobbles
And he’s absolutely mine.
He’s the best pet you can get,
Better than a dog or cat.
He’s my Albuquerque turkey,
And I’m awfully proud of that.
Albuquerque is a turkey,
And he’s happy in his bed.
Cause for our Thanksgiving dinner,
We’ll have pizza pie instead!
More Silly Turkey Stories
If you are looking for a funny story about Thanksgiving, there is nothing sillier or more ridiculous than the book, I know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson. In this tale, the turkey, the pie and everything else is definitely not escaping the old lady.
Finally, for all the parents, grandparents and grown-ups who love to read children’s literature—I know it is not just me who has a library card full of children’s books that are amazing reads. My favorite turkey story is The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr. It has nothing to do with Thanksgiving but it is a charming historical fiction story of a young man who decides to set off on a Wild West adventure with a flock of turkeys. Wishing everyone a happy month of turkey stories.
In a parody of The little old lady who swallowed a fly, this cumulative tale tells of an old lady who came to Thanksgiving dinner with a large appetite and pays a penalty for her peculiar eating habits.
The townspeople of Squawk Valley try to trick a turkey into being their Thanksgiving dinner, but are frustrated in their efforts when the turkey tricks them instead.
The day before Thanksgiving, Turkey tries to disguise himself as other animals in order to avoid being caught by the farmer.
As Thanksgiving Day approaches, Turkey nervously makes a series of costumes, disguising himself as other farm animals in hopes that he can avoid being served as Thanksgiving dinner.
School children on a field trip to Mack Nugget’s farm save the lives of eight turkeys in this poem based on “The Night Before Christmas.”