In this humorous and heartwarming story (based on a true event) Papa, only in the country for five years, has won the Thanksgiving raffle at work and the prize is an enormous live turkey. Now the family can celebrate this very American holiday for the first time by eating turkey. But when they bring the turkey to Mr. Cohen’s butcher shop to be slaughtered, he says it will be too tough to eat, and offers to give the lucky bird a home in the yard behind his shop. And now what will the family eat for the holiday? Like some of their neighbors, also immigrants from other countries, they will eat the foods that are special to them — in this case, stuffed cabbage and noodle kugel.
The story also provides an opportunity to point out, perhaps to older children, the concept in the Talmud of tzar baalei chayim—to avoidunnecessary cruelty to any living creature.
The author has also included a recipe for what has become her own Thanksgiving tradition — serving cranberry apple kugel.
Pike, a prize-winning illustrator, has accurately and lovingly depicted the families, neighborhood and time period with wit and energy.
Recommended for ages 3 – 8.
Susan Kantor was a senior writer/editor for Girl Scouts of the USA, a children’s book editor, and a past judge for the National Jewish Book Awards in the illustrated children’s book category. She is a writer and a docent at the Rubin Museum in New York City, where she leads public and private tours.