Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kid Konnection: Thanksgiving Edition

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to share with you two Thanksgiving themed books that are perfect for early readers.

Summary: It's Thanksgiving time and Room One is getting ready for their very own Thanksgiving feast! There's even a contest to see which room can write the best thankful list. The winners will get a pumpkin pie! Only it turns out being thankful is harder than it looks. Because Junie B. is not actually thankful for Tattletale May. Or squash. Or scratchy pilgrim costumes. And pumpkin pie makes her vomit, anyway. (But Junie B. is thankful for yummy cranberry sauce that's shaped like a can. And biscuits that explode from their can. And nipsy doodles!) Will Room 1 win the disgusting pie? Can May and Junie B. find common ground? Or will this Thanksgiving feast turn into a Turkey Day Disaster? -- Random House

For those of you with early readers, I'm sure this book (or at least this series) is a familiar one. Booking Daughter devoured Junie B. Jones' books when she was young, and I'm certain she would have been excited to read about June B.' Thanksgiving-related shenanigans. It's been a very long time since I've sat down and read a Junie B. Jones book, but I thought JUNIE B., FIRST GRADER - TURKEYS WE HAVE LOVED AND EATEN (AND OTHER THANKFUL STUFF) by Barbara Park and illustrated by Denise Brunkus seemed appropriate for this time of year.

In TURKEYS WE HAVE LOVED AND EATEN (AND OTHER THANKFUL STUFF), Junie's first grade class is preparing for their Thanksgiving party. There will be food, costumes, and even a prize for the best class thankful list. Of course, silliness ensues as the kids come up with their individual lists; and even some minor disagreements break out. However, Junie B. eventually realizes that it is possible to find common ground with your classroom rival -- kind of like the Pilgrims and the Indians!

I thought TURKEYS WE HAVE LOVED AND EATEN (AND OTHER THANKFUL STUFF) was very cute. It definitely reminded me of why the Junie B. books have been so successful! Junie B. is a great character and loads of fun, and children are drawn to her funny thoughts and actions. I especially liked that, despite the craziness, Junie B. did manage to learn a lesson or two.

I know a lot of parents aren't big fans of Junie B. books, and I guess I can see some of their arguments. (Junie isn't always the most well-behaved kid.) However, I have always thought they were kind of fun. And heck if it gets kids excited about reading -- even those who are reluctant to make the jump to chapter books, then I'm all for them. I think the Junie B. books are fantastic for early readers because the mix of words and pictures aren't intimidating. Plus, Junie B. is a hoot and kids love silly stories.

TURKEYS WE HAVE LOVED AND EATEN (AND OTHER THANKFUL STUFF) is a fun book that's perfect to get your early reader ready for Thanksgiving and thinking about what they might be thankful for!

Summary: Every year, the president pardons one turkey for Thanksgiving. One. But KC and her best friend, Marshall, think one isn't enough! This year, they want to gather lots of turkeys to be spared. The night before the holiday, the turkeys are in a big flock on the National Mall waiting to be set free. The next morning, they're gone! Who would steal 117 Thanksgiving turkeys? KC and Marshall have to ruffle some feathers to find out! -- Random House

TURKEY TROUBLE ON THE NATIONAL MALL by Ronald Roy and illustrated by Timothy Bush is the fourteenth book in the Capital Mystery series; however, it's the first one that I've ever read. I actually really like the idea of these books -- mysteries that take place in Washington, DC and are solved by two friends -- because not only are they fun to try to solve, but they also teach children about the landmarks and history of Washington, DC.

In TURKEY TROUBLE ON THE NATIONAL MALL, KC and her best friend Marshall decide (well mainly KC) that more than just one turkey should be pardoned. She decides that senators and congressmen should all pardon a turkey and bring them to a cage set up in the National Mall. Their plan seems to be working until they come back the next day and all of the turkeys are missing! It's up to KC and Marshall to solve the mystery and find the turkeys... before it's too late!

I thought TURKEY TROUBLE was adorable. I read it a few days ago and Booking Son became very interested. (He has since started reading it and is about half way through. He seems to be liking it a lot so far!) I liked the little twists and turns concerning the possible suspects, but I especially liked the characters of KC and Marshall. KC is definitely a smart and spunky girl and I think Marshall offsets her personality perfectly.

In addition to being a cute mystery, this book also explains the history behind the presidential pardon of a turkey. There are fun facts in the back of the book which make learning fun, but there are also some educational things written into the story. I am really looking forward to getting more of this series for Booking Son!

I recommend TURKEY TROUBLE ON THE NATIONAL MALL to early readers who enjoy mysteries as well as children who want to learn more about our nation's capital.
Thanks to the publisher for providing review copies of these books.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


rhapsodyinbooks said...

Each year my family WARNS me in VERY STRONG LANGUAGE that I am not allowed to make my pro-turkey-life views known to the small kids! LOL Sounds like I wouldn't be allowed to bring Turkey Trouble into the house! LOL

And actually, my Kid Konnection post today is about giving thanks to the ANIMALS, although the Thanksgiving holiday is not the focus. In the Native American way of thinking, appreciation for animals is an all-the-time thing.

Beth F said...

The Junie B. Jones books look like fun. I didn't read any YA or MG this week. But I'll have post next week.

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for hosting this wonderful meme week after week!

bermudaonion said...

The Junie B book looks like one I would have loved but I think Vance would have preferred Turkey Trouble on the National Mall. Both books look good though!

Amy said...

aw these look v. cute!