Duck for Turkey Day
It's almost Thanksgiving, and Tuyet is excited about the holiday and the vacation from school. There's just one problem: her Vietnamese American family is having duck for Thanksgiving dinner -- not turkey! Nobody has duck for Thanksgiving -- what will her teacher and the other kids think?
To her surprise, Tuyet enjoys her yummy Thanksgiving dinner anyhow -- and an even bigger surprise is waiting for her at school on Monday. Dinners from roast beef to lamb to enchiladas adorned the Thanksgiving tables of her classmates, but the celebrations all had something in common -- family!
Kids from families with different traditions will enjoy this warm story about "the right way" to celebrate an American holiday.
Awards and Honors
2012 Washington State Children's Choice Book Awards nominee
Tennessee Volunteer State Book Awards 2012-2013 nominee, Primary DivisionNCSS Notable Book for Young Readers
"It is a perfect fit to include in a #weneeddiversebooks list." -- Keila V. Dawson, November 13, 2015.
"While this is particularly timely just before Thanksgiving, it is far from a seasonal book and will be enjoyed year-round. It’s a well-told tale about celebrating diversity and finding a way to assimilate without losing one’s culture of origin." -- Young Children, November 2009.
Review by Denice, age 8: "The book taught me: When it’s a holiday, we don’t have to do the same things to celebrate. We can do different things."-- Read, Write, Repeat, November 17, 2009.
"This sweet tale is written in straightforward prose and provides a brief glimpse of another culture. Mitter's bright illustrations accented with cozy details draw readers into Tuyet's happy home and enhance the story's heartwarming message." -- School Library Journal, August 1, 2009."A lighthearted reminder about multicultural traditions during the holidays." -- Publishers Weekly, September 21, 2009.
"Mitter's acrylic illustrations, in clear bright colors and simple shapes, capture the warmth of the holiday bustle and the affection among family members, while reinforcing the meaning in [Tuyet's teacher's] overt, reassuring message: 'It doesn't matter what you eat on Thanksgiving, as long as you have a good time with family and friends.'" -- Book List, September 1, 2009.
"This picture book explores the idea that holidays are not about the food we eat. Instead, they are about the family members and friends that we spend those holidays with. In addition, the story reminds young readers that in America people from many countries live together, and they bring traditions from other countries to their dining tables." -- Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews.
"No matter how your family celebrates, this is a book that can help young readers see what the holiday is really about. It can also act to support a child whose background may be different from how they perceive mainstream US culture." -- Bookshelf: What We're Reading, Thanksgiving Day, 2009.
"Their non-turkey meals remind Tuyet that, even though Turkey Day revolves around food, it’s having a thankful heart and sharing a meal together with those you love that matter the most." -- PaperTigers Blog, Thanksgiving Day, 2009.
"This heartwarming story is a beautiful reminder of the unique ways we each celebrate our own holidays, and how those traditions blend in our diverse society." -- Latin Baby Book Club, November 20, 2009.
"The book is a wonderful choice for classrooms and families this Thanksgiving." -- Mitali's Fire Escape, November 18, 2009.
"I really, really liked the message of Duck for Turkey Day and feel it's an ever-important one to attempt to get across to kids in today's time of extreme diversity in our schools, cities, and towns. -- A Patchwork of Books, November 21, 2009.
"Duck for Turkey Day conveys a timely message about ethnic pride; the so-called "right way" to celebrate isn't always the only way." -- Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup.
"Jacqueline Jules pens a tale of tolerance and diversity that will resonate with young students and families no matter their heritage. Illustrator Kathryn Mitter limns a many-hued classroom that adheres not to the melting pot but to the woks, frying pans and vegan casserole dishes of contemporary America." -- Mary Quattlebaum, Washington Parent, November 2009.
"This is a perfect book for reading aloud and discussion in lower elementary classrooms." -- ForeWord Magazine, September/October 2009.
"This is a sweet story that will resonate with most younger readers. . . . The appealing spread of meats and fish, sauces, and fresh vegetables at the market could spark discussion and might even inspire a multicultural feast at school before the holiday." -- Children's Literature.
"This gentle reminder about multicultural traditions during an all-American holiday follows a young Vietnamese girl who feels nervous about telling her classmates that her family ate duck, rather than turkey, for Thanksgiving dinner. A beaming smile appears, however, when she learns that many of her classmates dined on dishes like enchiladas, tofu turkey and lamb." -- Our Little Tongginator: Great Children's Books for Thanksgiving.
"It's a lovely story that gives kids a glimpse at the greater meaning behind the Thanksgiving . . . . Kids from all types of families will enjoy this warm story about "the right way" to celebrate an American holiday tradition." -- Mother Nature Network, Nov. 11, 2009.
"The heartwarming story about the unique ways we each celebrate our traditions is particularly poignant in the United States, where we are all pulling in different cultural and family traditions into one big melting pot." -- Bookmark, The First Book Blog, Nov. 17, 2009.
"Jules, who has written 14 children’s books, will convince any child that her family’s traditions have a place in our multicultural nation." -- The Book Case.
"I agree with Jacqueline and appreciate the point she makes." -- Bowllan's Blog, School Library Journal.
"The valuable lesson here is that a multiethnic America does not have to require conformity, and a 'cool' meal does not have to be the typical American one. All in all, this is an educational and approachable book." -- Diverse Kids Books, April 4, 2015.