Reviews for Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

Publishers Weekly Reviews 1990 August #2
Patterned as a parody of the celebrated Clement Moore poem, this story of eight baby turkeys unfolds with joyous abandon and crackling vitality, as eight children embark on a Thanksgiving field trip that will change their lives forever. They are breathless as they catch sight of Farmer Mack Nuggett for the first time: ``He was dressed all in denim, / From his head to his toe, / With a pinch of polyester / And a dash of Velcro.'' The exuberant turkeys--Ollie, Stanley, Larry, Moe, Wally, Beaver and Groucho--catch the children up in raucous barnyard antics until the merriment is quelled by the sight of the ax. Deeply touched by the turkeys' plight, the children--who have grown mysteriously fatter and have feathers sticking out from under their clothes--board the bus to go back to the city. The next night, family silhouettes can be seen--each with a grateful turkey guest--as ``They feasted on veggies / With jelly and toast.'' This humorous, lighthearted story is adorned with bold, bright illustrations that convey a sense of wacky high-spiritedness sometimes lacking in traditional holiday fare. Ages 4-7. (Aug.) Copyright 1990 Cahners Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 1990 September
Pilkey has adapted Clement Moore's classic poem for another holiday. The day before Thanksgiving finds eight boys and girls of various races taking a field trip to a turkey farm. Although Farmer Mack Nuggett seems kind at first, the children eventually discover his horrible plan to kill the turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners. Smuggling the turkeys home with them, the children save the birds, who join eight families for vegetarian dinners. The weakest part of this slapstick offering is the verse, in part because the story isn't at all parallel to Moore's and in part because of the stretches in rhyme to accommodate a pre-existing pattern. Some of the word play will escape children. Similarly, visual humor such as the placement of Farmer Nuggett and the teacher in an ``American Gothic'' pose will remain unappreciated by those too young for Grant Wood. The cartoon illustrations reinforce the story's general silliness but are unremarkable in themselves. Those seeking Thanksgiving humor will better served by Marc Brown's Arthur's Thanksgiving (Little, 1983), while those looking for a human-turkey relationship should dust off Lorna Balian's Sometimes It's Turkey, Sometimes It's Feathers (Abingdon, 1986). --Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, MN Copyright 1990 Cahners Business Information.