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Gracias The Thanksgiving Turkey

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In this warm holiday story, a young Puerto Rican boy saves the life of his per turkey with help from his close-knit New York City family and neighborhood. Beginning Spanish vocabulary is woven into the text.


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In this warm holiday story, a young Puerto Rican boy saves the life of his per turkey with help from his close-knit New York City family and neighborhood. Beginning Spanish vocabulary is woven into the text.

30 review for Gracias The Thanksgiving Turkey

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie ((Strazzybooks))

    I used this with my students last year..a great book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jamie L.

    Text-to-World Somewhere in the world, at this exact moment, there is a little boy or girl living with his grandparents and aunt, waiting for his or her father or mother to come home from work. In this light- hearted, realistic fiction book, “Gracias, The Thanksgiving Turkey,” this is part of the story. Miguel, the little boy, receives an alive turkey from his father with instructions to fatten it up for Thanksgiving. Miguel immediately befriends the turkey, despite the fact he is to fatten him u Text-to-World Somewhere in the world, at this exact moment, there is a little boy or girl living with his grandparents and aunt, waiting for his or her father or mother to come home from work. In this light- hearted, realistic fiction book, “Gracias, The Thanksgiving Turkey,” this is part of the story. Miguel, the little boy, receives an alive turkey from his father with instructions to fatten it up for Thanksgiving. Miguel immediately befriends the turkey, despite the fact he is to fatten him up for his family’s meal. Many funny adventures begin for Miguel and his new friend, the turkey, as they both await the day of Thanksgiving. Just as in life funny, sad, frustrating, or scary journeys can occur. I found this book to be a good read for many reasons. It shows the love, caring, and responsibility of family members in the world today taking care of a child who’s parent work out of town, and the funny and inspirational events that can occur in their lives.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Gracias the Thanksgiving Turkey is a very great book! The first part of this book that I just loved was that it had a hispanic flare to it. I enjoyed having the few Spanish words in this book. The next part of this book that I loved was that whole meaning of this book. Miguel took a huge liking to this turkey and made it part of their family. Him and the author of this book just at the end of the day could not kill this turkey and make it dinner. This book shows the value of life, and all living Gracias the Thanksgiving Turkey is a very great book! The first part of this book that I just loved was that it had a hispanic flare to it. I enjoyed having the few Spanish words in this book. The next part of this book that I loved was that whole meaning of this book. Miguel took a huge liking to this turkey and made it part of their family. Him and the author of this book just at the end of the day could not kill this turkey and make it dinner. This book shows the value of life, and all living creatures. This book was great to read!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Gentle humor and a likable protagonist make this predictable story a great seasonal elementary read-aloud. Compare with Thanksgiving in the White House by Hines. Just as Abraham Lincoln's son Tad saves his pet turkey from the feast, so Miguel finds a way to care for an unusual gift from his uncle. Includes Spanish words, and bright illustrations of an urban setting for this loving Puerto Rican family.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ABC

    A boy in New York City gets a turkey from his father who is away as a truck driver. A few Spanish words are interspersed in the text. (A glossary is at the back, but the words are easy.) The book shows the turkey showing up at mass and getting a blessing from the priest. It has a happy ending. (Unless you are a chicken....)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    When Miguel becomes attached to the living turkey that Papa has sent to the family to 'fatten-up' for Thanksgiving dinner, he becomes attached to his new amiga. In the end, the family does have Gracias, The Thanksgiving Turkey for dinner, but not quite in the way that your imagine! A fun story for Thanksgiving.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    wonderful Thanksgiving story about family and friends with beautiful illustrations themes: family, Thanksgiving, turkey

  8. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    I guess I was hoping for a little something different with this book. While it does feature a turkey being spared from the Thanksgiving dinner table, it's more about saving one special animal instead of advocating compassion for all animals. On one hand, young Miguel's friendship with Gracias the turkey is sweet. Everyone else seems to see the bird as just a future meal, but Miguel sees her as a friend, and he rescues her from multiple mishaps. It was also heartening to see Miguel defend his fri I guess I was hoping for a little something different with this book. While it does feature a turkey being spared from the Thanksgiving dinner table, it's more about saving one special animal instead of advocating compassion for all animals. On one hand, young Miguel's friendship with Gracias the turkey is sweet. Everyone else seems to see the bird as just a future meal, but Miguel sees her as a friend, and he rescues her from multiple mishaps. It was also heartening to see Miguel defend his friend from predictable arguments from the adults around him--"[eating is] what turkeys are for," etc. There are also a lot of Spanish vocab words. On the other hand, the compassion the book exudes for Gracias doesn't extend to all animals or even all turkeys. At one point, Miguel pleads with his parents to just buy a turkey who's "already dead." At the end, the family ends up serving a chicken at the Thanksgiving meal instead, and this is presented as a happy outcome for everyone. Needless to say, I thought this was a bummer. The characters may have never met the chicken on the table, but she was as much an individual as Gracias.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Davidson

    Miguel's papa was a trucker and one day he sent a large box to Miguel. Inside was a turkey to raise for Thanksgiving dinner, but the turkey becomes a pet. Miguel tries to save his friend from becoming dinner. This is a very nice story which includes some Spanish words, with a complete list of them in the back of the book. Great illustrations.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Miss Sarah

    A young boy is sent a Turkey by his traveling father to fatten up for Thanksgiving. Can the boy fatten up the Turkey and eat him or will someone rescue the Turkey. Nice religious theme and spanish sprinkled in. Elementary and up

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    Cute story. I did find something in the illustrations that was inaccurate. In the illustration of "la misa" the mass, there is a photo of what seems to be the Pope to the left of Padre (Father) Jaime. This is never done in a Catholic Church since the Pope is not at the center of our worship. We worship God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit alone--The Holy Trinity. Jesus Christ is the center of "la misa" yet there is no depiction of Jesus in the illustration. How sad and misleading! Cute story. I did find something in the illustrations that was inaccurate. In the illustration of "la misa" the mass, there is a photo of what seems to be the Pope to the left of Padre (Father) Jaime. This is never done in a Catholic Church since the Pope is not at the center of our worship. We worship God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit alone--The Holy Trinity. Jesus Christ is the center of "la misa" yet there is no depiction of Jesus in the illustration. How sad and misleading! Pope representations (photos, statues or other icons) are reserved for other areas of the Church--NEVER the altar. When the seat of Peter changes, a photo of the Pope would be placed on a small easel stand below the altar in front of the pews facing the congregation (same protocol for photes of deceased.) The altar is reserved for Jesus Christ as HE is the center of la misa. Also, the image to the right of the cross is really creepy looking--a sad attempt to depict the Virgin Mary. In all the Catholic Churches I have ever been to, there are statues near the altar: They are normally beautiful depictions representing Jesus' stepfather Joseph and HIS Mother the Virgin Mary. Both statues usually have very serene features and they wold face the congregation. I hope the illustrator does a more accurate job with his future illustrations. Other than that this was a nice little book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dolly

    This is a humorous tale about the gift of a live turkey, intended for Thanksgiving dinner, who ends up being a beloved (and blessed) pet. The narrative is engaging and dramatic in places, and I love how the author naturally incorporates Spanish words into the dialogue of the story (with a glossary at the end) that makes it very easy for a non-Spanish-speaking person to understand the meaning of the words. The story also helps to show about life in New York City for a close-knit hispanic family - This is a humorous tale about the gift of a live turkey, intended for Thanksgiving dinner, who ends up being a beloved (and blessed) pet. The narrative is engaging and dramatic in places, and I love how the author naturally incorporates Spanish words into the dialogue of the story (with a glossary at the end) that makes it very easy for a non-Spanish-speaking person to understand the meaning of the words. The story also helps to show about life in New York City for a close-knit hispanic family - Miguel's mom is not mentioned and his dad is away for the majority of the story, but the reader can see how his extended family is a huge a part of his life and cares for him dearly. I also liked the multicultural neighborhood and the fact that Officer Deveraux is a woman. I recognized Joy Cowley from her many early reader books that our girls brought home from school years ago to practice their reading skills, but I appreciated her ability to create a longer, more entertaining story. The oil painting illustrations are vibrantly colorful and cartoonish, with terrific details that depict city life. We really enjoyed reading this book together.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alesha

    It was an ok, different read-aloud for Thanksgiving. There are several pros of this story: It incorporates Spanish words. Miguel's family gives an excellent example of how families are different--he lives with his grandparents and possibly his aunt while his father works as cross-country truck driver. There is no mention of his mother. It demonstrates the importance of being a responsible pet owner Examples of community members (teacher, police officer, store clerks) are characters in the story Ther It was an ok, different read-aloud for Thanksgiving. There are several pros of this story: It incorporates Spanish words. Miguel's family gives an excellent example of how families are different--he lives with his grandparents and possibly his aunt while his father works as cross-country truck driver. There is no mention of his mother. It demonstrates the importance of being a responsible pet owner Examples of community members (teacher, police officer, store clerks) are characters in the story There are also cons. There is a lot going on in the story--Gracias is stolen, Gracias comes to church. Will Miguel's father arrive in time for Thanksgiving?Not to mention lots of talk about "ovens," the thought of killing the turkey. Also, the police officer and shopkeepers have surnames (Deveraux, Chatterjee, respectively)which could be difficult for young readers to pronounce or understand. All in all, it's a cute story, with beautiful illustrations, and a happy ending. Gracias lives so while there is no harm, there is also no "fowl"--well, at least not the traditional variety as the family dines on chicken. :)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rosa Cline

    This was a very interesting 'not like the typical Thanksgiving book' book. After having read several Thanksgiving books to my special needs adult son throughout the last couple of weeks. It was so very nice to come across on that was different than the others. (We were sitting in a doctors office awaiting an appointment and after I finished I even had another parent tell me they enjoyed this story. And it was a nice book.) I have also 'tagged' this as Grandparents Day since most of the main char This was a very interesting 'not like the typical Thanksgiving book' book. After having read several Thanksgiving books to my special needs adult son throughout the last couple of weeks. It was so very nice to come across on that was different than the others. (We were sitting in a doctors office awaiting an appointment and after I finished I even had another parent tell me they enjoyed this story. And it was a nice book.) I have also 'tagged' this as Grandparents Day since most of the main characters is the little boy's Abuela and Abuelo. Although this has 'some' Spanish words within the story even if you don't know what they mean it won't take away from the story. And you can figure out what the words mean-represent. and in the back it does have a glossary to help translate the Spanish words to English. A very special Thanksgiving book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This is a great book to have children practice their inferencing skills. They are able to use their background knowledge about not only the holiday, but possibly living with someone other than parents. They can use this inference to make predictions about what will happen to Gracias throughout the book. For example when Gracias is stolen, or when Gracias wanders into the church, the students could even make predictions about what the family would have to eat on Thanksgiving. The illustrations ar This is a great book to have children practice their inferencing skills. They are able to use their background knowledge about not only the holiday, but possibly living with someone other than parents. They can use this inference to make predictions about what will happen to Gracias throughout the book. For example when Gracias is stolen, or when Gracias wanders into the church, the students could even make predictions about what the family would have to eat on Thanksgiving. The illustrations are beautiful, especially the ones of the parade. The students could have their own writing prompt about the parade in the book, or one that they themselves have seen.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Neil

    Gracias The Thanksgiving Turkey, by Joy Cowley is an interesting book and is a good book to read around Thanksgiving. Book Review: In this book Cowley does a great job in incorporating spanish and also the relationships that we, as humans make with animals. The family buys a turkey for Thanksgiving but once the turkey arrives at home and the son becomes friends with it, the turkey can no longer be eaten. Recommend: I would recommend this book to students in grades 2-3 and this book is great becau Gracias The Thanksgiving Turkey, by Joy Cowley is an interesting book and is a good book to read around Thanksgiving. Book Review: In this book Cowley does a great job in incorporating spanish and also the relationships that we, as humans make with animals. The family buys a turkey for Thanksgiving but once the turkey arrives at home and the son becomes friends with it, the turkey can no longer be eaten. Recommend: I would recommend this book to students in grades 2-3 and this book is great because of the Spanish that is used in it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Allen

    Gracias the Thanksgiving Turkey is a great book to introduce students to Spanish. The children can use the words around the Spanish words to figure out their meaning. The book is also a great book to show the friendship between the boy and his turkey. As a teacher I would use this with my students to discuss and learn spanish words that can be helpful to the students in our classrooms. IUS Library

  18. 5 out of 5

    Allyson L

    This book was very entertaining and creative. It is about a latino boy and his family, and the boy doesn't want the turkey to be eaten so he tries to save him. I could definitely see kids relating to the boy in trying to prevent the turkey from being killed. It mixes the latino culture with american culture, along with including some spanish words. I wouldnt say it really teaches a lesson about the latino culture, but it does do an okay job in portraying it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Breon Randon

    A good, solid, interesting holiday children’s book. Appreciated the peek into a Latino families’ holiday traditions and liberal dose of Spanish vocabulary words that make it easily digestible for even my toddler. Lost a teeny bit with me when dad is a semi truck driver who lives in NYC and somehow parks his semi there. Also dislike how the family spares one bird only to eat another, but really a very sweet and almost melancholy thanksgiving tale.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Randi Triantafillou

    I like this story because it incorporates English and Spanish and it also expresses the value of life. The boy Miguel is given a Turkey from his father to fatten up for Thanksgiving and in return he starts to love the turkey. In the story they face trails and tribulations together, which keeps the story suspenseful as the reader waits to see what happens with the turkey. By: Randi Triantafillou

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chris Young

    A boy's father sends him a turkey with instructions to fatten her up before Thanksgiving. This is a story about loving the things that love you back, whether that be a boy who is waiting for his father to come home, the grandparents who are acting as your parents, or the turkey that thinks it's your best friend.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    In this story, the young boy is given a turkey by his dad. He is told to "fatten up the bird" so they can enjoy the turkey on Thanksgiving, but the little boy treats the bird as a pet instead. He takes it on walks and feeds it left overs from the grocery store. Everyone in town comes to love the turkey.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tania Damian

    In this Thanksgiving book, a boy saves the life of a turkey his father sent him from far away. It is a good book to read for Thanksgiving. In addition, there are basic Spanish words throughout the text. So, native Spanish speakers would love it, but non-Spanish speakers would still be able to understand.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Luisa Knight

    A little boy gets a turkey to fatten up for Thanksgiving ... but he just can't bring himself to eat it. The story was okay; I liked the illustrations a lot. You'll learn some basic Spanish with this read. Ages: 4 - 8 Cleanliness: There's several references of Catholicism: lighting candles, mass, prayer, holy medal and a blessing from the priest. People drink wine. #thanksgiving

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    Moral of the story: if you keep a turkey for a pet, you are not going to want to roast it on Thanksgiving. A cute picture book for the season featuring an hispanic, Roman Catholic family. Bits of their culture make this a rich picture book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alisha Williams

    This is a cute book to talk about thanksgiving with your class. A dad sent his son a turkey for his birthday with plans on eating it for thanksgiving. The child couldn't part with it when it came time to eat him. The turkey ended up in the zoo.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    This reminded me very much of the old Ginn Rainbow reading series. It had a definite "Sesame Street" feel to it. The glossary neglected to include "venga", but did define the other Spanish words in the story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I love this book. It is adorable and fun to read. This book is about a boy who befriends a turkey that he is suppose to eat for Thanksgiving. I recommend everyone to read this book and to share it with young children.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Sweet book who gets a turkey to raise in NYC to fatten for Thanksgiving but he becomes close to the turkey and it becomes more difficult to eat. The book is in English and Spanish. I will be reading this for a Thanksgiving dinner for our migrant families this Sunday. So sweet!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Katie Scherrer

    This works really well with a school-age group.

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