The Turkey That Voted For Christmas by Madeleine Cook and Samara Hardy
|The Turkey That Voted For Christmas by Madeleine Cook and Samara Hardy|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: Join a slightly confused young turkey in this colourful children's book that explores Christmas and politics; sometimes making as much sense as the latter.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 32||Date: October 2017|
|Publisher: OUP Oxford|
Most right-minded people have had enough of politics in recent years so the last thing that you want to read to your child is a book all about an election. At least this election is set on a farm, but anyone familiar with a certain George Orwell novel will know that this does not always turn out for the best. Surely a kid's book is not going to reflect modern politics? I mean, when have we recently seen turkeys voting for Christmas?
Every year Christmas comes and goes on Pear Tree Farm with nary a celebration because it is put to a vote. With a sizable turkey population they always block vote against it, but this time a pugnacious turkey called Timmy has taken it upon himself to get the vote passed. What can possibly go wrong for a turkey at Christmas? It is not like they are the mainstay of many a Christmas lunch.
The Turkey That Voted For Christmas has a strong idea at its centre, but confusingly executed. The premise requires the reader to know from the offset what the phrase turkey voting for Christmas means. To most adults this is not a problem, but a child could easily be confused. On a basic level it means that the turkeys are voting to get themselves eaten. At a deeper level it is whether the animals are aware of what they are voting for or not. The book also lacks any real Christmas spirit, politics does not often instil a sense of goodwill to all men.
It appears that most turkeys are aware, but why did no one bothers to tell Timmy? Ten seconds explaining what giblets are and the wonders of sage stuffing would soon have got him back on track. However, for the book to work Cook had to ignore this obvious solution and instead have an ambivalent Timmy carrying on regardless. To add tension to the book it appears that the farmer is ready to take Timmy to the chopping block. Therefore, the reader assumes that things will turn out badly for the animal population, but there is a twist. It is safe to say that nobody dies, but the turnaround in the book comes from nowhere. I was left confused as to why a farmer would bother to raise these animals except for slaughter.
Turkey is meant to come across as a cutesy look at politics, but it really just highlights some of the worst pig-headed elements of it and then when the party you want comes to power they don't deliver what they promised anyway. Thankfully Hardy's illustrations are bright and colourful giving you some of the Christmas cheer stolen from you by the story. I can forgive a book for children being about politics, but children will just be confused with the concepts and the fact that the conclusion is a little jumbled. Hidden within this book is a good idea, it just got lost – remind you of politics at all?
Not all books that are Christmassy have a strong Christmas theme, check out The Tooth Fairy's Christmas by Peter Bently and Garry Parsons for a great example.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Turkey That Voted For Christmas by Madeleine Cook and Samara Hardy at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Turkey That Voted For Christmas by Madeleine Cook and Samara Hardy at Amazon.com.
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