Turkey Goes to School

Two Lions/Amazon/. (Turkey Trouble: Bk. 5). Aug. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781542023641.
PreS-Gr 2–The fifth installment of “Turkey Trouble” finds Farmer Jake’s animals practicing their school skills in the barnyard—writing, counting, and reading. Their plan is to attend the first day of school with Max and Millie, the kids on the farm. “Farm Days” is the school’s first weekly learning theme and they are certain they will be welcome visitors. But it isn’t that easy. They get kicked off the bus. They hitch a ride to school where they are refused entry. Turkey is variously disguised as a backpack, book, soccer ball, and a lunch lady, in an attempt for acceptance, all to no avail. When Turkey dresses as Farmer Jake, the farm animals are finally allowed to stay for their first—and last—day of school. Rendered in cartoony watercolors, the story suffers from awkward puns. The theme of exclusion and nonacceptance is frankly unsettling and unfunny. Some school children and the principal have darker skin tones, but the white characters are the protagonists and have most of the speaking parts.
VERDICT This iteration of the series doesn’t live up to the charm of the first amusing title, and has a confusing message of rejection and ostracism.

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