Turkey’s Valentine Surprise (Wendi Silvano)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Turkey’s Valentine Surprise, written by Wendi Silvano and illustrated by Lee Harper, a pun-filled story of secret admirers and wild disguises.

After receiving a delightful valentine from a surreptitious source, Turkey is inspired to dress in disguise and present his friends with mysterious missives of their own. Yet while he puts quite a bit of effort into his costumes, the best that can be said of them is that he looks like a dog, or cat, or owl… almost. While his barnyard pals love his punny valentines, Turkey is disappointed to have not succeeded in his subterfuge – until he thinks up the kindest surprise of all! But can he pull it off?

Charming. Those familiar with Silvano and Harper’s Turkey Trouble series will know what to expect from the newest title: wacky humor, warm friendship, and puns galore. Silvano uses tongue-in-cheek text and repetition to make an entertaining story, especially when read aloud, and Harper’s illustrations are inventive, expressive, and filled with clever details (including what, I am almost positive, is a subtle tribute to Kermit the Frog). The length is great for a storytime, and JJ loved Turkey’s antics. Overall, a wonderfully silly read for Valentines that focuses on kindness, friendship, and laughs, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Turkey Goes To School (Wendi Silvano)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Turkey Goes To School, written by Wendi Silvano and illustrated by Lee Harper, fifth in the pair’s series featuring the shenanigans of Turkey and his barnyard friends.

Farm kids Max and Millie are preparing excitedly for the first day of school, but even more excited are their collection of livestock, who seem convinced that they will be attending school alongside the children. After all, the first week’s theme is “Farm Days”; who wouldn’t want such a clever and curious group of farm animals to join in the educational fun? Yet when the animals line up to board the bus on the first day, they are denied! Finding their own way to school, the team plots ways to sneak into the classroom and partake of the learning, most centered around Turkey disguising himself with a series of (almost) convincing getups. But as each attempt fails, the animals begin to lose heart… until Turkey comes up with one last foolproof plan.

Silly fun. Fans of Silvano and Harper’s series will recognize the plot structure, in which Turkey and pals attempt to solve a problem through Turkey’s laughably lackluster disguises; the scenes in which the costumes are being prepared are especially humorous, using clever visual gags to up the absurdity. The text is pun-HEAVY, with mixed success; some elicited a giggle, some are groan-worthy. Harper’s ink and watercolor illustrations are colorful, and the animal characters are very endearing, though the human characters are occasionally… oddly proportioned. The length is fine for a storytime, and JJ enjoyed it, especially the sing-along portion (though she was put out that the author’s lyrical twist on “Old MacDonald” did not finish the musical phrase – I was strongly encouraged to go back and finish the song before she would allow the story to continue). Overall, this is a slightly uneven effort, but has enough heart, humor, and fun to make for an entertaining read. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter (Wendi Silvano)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter, written by Wendi Silvano and illustrated by Lee Harper, a festive and silly tale of an usual egg hunt.

Fourth in the Turkey Trouble series, the story opens on Turkey and his barnyard friends lamenting the fact that the farm’s Easter Egg Hunt – which features “eggstra”-special surprises for finders of the special eggs – only allows children to participate and not animals. So the friends come up with a plan: a secret mission, which involves Turkey donning an assortment of costumes in order to sneak into the hunt and grab one of the special eggs. Unfortunately, several of his disguises (a bunny, a daffodil, a bumblebee, etc.) are seen through or simply foiled. How can Turkey and company manage to snag a special prize for themselves?

Goofy fun. Turkey and his barnyard pals are just the right mix of endearing and mischievous to make the audience root for their caper, and the fact that they have some measure of victory by the end is satisfying. Equally charming are the visual gags that both kids and grownups can enjoy: the animals dressed up as secret agents once they decide on their “mission”, or putting a ridiculous amount of effort into Turkey’s bunny costume when one of the animals is, in fact, an actual bunny, and so on. And while I am admittedly not the biggest fan of puns, the egg-themed ones that pepper the dialogue are enough for kids to enjoy but not so many that they become tedious. The length is good, and JJ enjoyed it – this is a fun, off-beat Easter book that all ages can enjoy. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)