The Turkey’s Treat by Marie Sanderlin Metroke

Illustrated by Victor Guiza

1.5 stars

Jeff Watson, “the four-eyed redhead” (yes, that’s really what is written on the first page!) can’t wait for Christmas, which is only four days away, and without a tree in the house or a turkey in the fridge, he’s starting to worry! On Thursday afternoon, he waits patiently for his Mom and Dad to take him and his older sister Tammy to shop for their Christmas tree. While his Dad starts out excited to do the errand, he soon turns grumpy and doesn’t want to bother shopping for a turkey on this snowy day. Mom quickly reminds him that there are other things she needs from the store, so they all end up in the first grocery store that Dad sees.

As fate would have it, there is a live turkey in the store as part of a Christmas Turkey Give Away (I can’t think of any grocery stores that would allow a live turkey inside the store by the food!) and even though his Mom tells him not to touch the bird, Jeff can’t help himself and promptly gets bitten. Before Jeff can get over the shock, he finds himself chasing a renegade turkey throughout the store (and this was described as “uproarious hijinks” on the back cover) and soon after ends up in the emergency room of the local hospital for two hours in order to have his nibbled pinky finger inspected.

The Turkey’s Treat is a bright and wonderfully illustrated children’s book by Montana author Marie Sanderlin Metroke and the gifted illustrator, Victor Guiza. Unfortunately, the illustrations are the best thing about this 20 page children’s book. I was expecting a sweet holiday tale but instead found a couple of typos in a story that is disjointed at best, has no theme, a very abrupt ending, and no real point to it except the fact that Jeff decides he’d rather keep the turkey as a pet than eat it. No alternative Christmas dinner was even suggested. While the author may have been trying to write a book with a moral to the story, she fails with this one.

As Metroke markets herself as someone who has been a children’s author for nearly three decades, I have to wonder why she still hasn’t honed her craft as a storyteller.

The Turkey’s Treat is very obviously a self-published book that was in dire need of a really good editor and didn’t have one. It’s not a humorous tale or even a heartwarming one and I just ended up feeling bad for Jeff that his parents were not only irritable, but also extremely irresponsible in allowing him to keep a turkey as a pet. Turkeys are miserable birds who make lousy pets!

This is the worst children’s book I’ve ever read, a waste of my time as a reviewer, and I would definitely take a pass on buying it.

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