After discovering a flock of turkeys in her yard in the spring, Jenny continues to watch them throughout the year.
With a simple text, mostly rhyming couplets, the young nature watcher describes the turkeys’ appearance and behavior as they nest and raise their young in the woods nearby. She notes particularly how they walk and fly. “Toms strut and puff to look their best.” In a departure from her previous straight collage work (Scoot, 2008, and others), Falwell augments her multi-media (cut and torn paper and found natural materials) images with overlaid block prints. Leaf prints add further texture. These charming illustrations also show other animals, including deer, chickadees, cardinals and squirrels. Plants and trees are recognizable as those of the author-illustrator’s Maine world, and seasons are indicated with a vignette underneath the text: apple blossoms, dandelion flower, red leaf, snow flake. Images of turkeys slipping on the frozen ground and the child’s imagined vision of them sliding down snowy hills add humor. The book concludes with “Jenny’s Journal,” straightforward exposition offering more facts about turkeys for older readers. As she’s done before, the author includes suggestions for artwork and other activities. An “Animal Tracks” puzzle provides an appealing conclusion.
Not just for Thanksgiving, this should be a welcome addition to nature shelves all year round.
— Kirkus Reviews (July 15, 2011)
Imagine a Children’s Picture Book about turkeys and not a single mention of Thanksgiving! Gobble Gobble by author and illustrator Cathryn Falwell presents a factual and beautifully detailed book describing mostly North America’s distinctive wild turkeys. The text is engagingly simple and well written and the rhymes fascinate and instruct. Adults will love this book as much as the little ones.
The opening tells of spring. Birds and deer, creatures of the forest, are intrigued when they notice huge claw prints.
Spring is here! Arrows mark the muddy ground
Striped brown feathers are all around.
What’s that funny gobbling sound?
Jenny and her family live in a woodland area cottage. Readers study along as she observes the flocks of wild birds during the progression of the seasons. In spring, the males—turkey toms—strut and puff, while the females—turkey hens—make shallow nests. In summer, the turkey babies hatch, and in autumn the big birds crunch in the red and gold leaves. During winter they leave turkey tracks in the snow and also roost in the trees.
Gorgeous wild turkey scenes come to life by interaction with Jenny, her playmates, and her dog, Max. Deer, birds, butterflies, and the trees that change with each season provide a backdrop for the story of the wild creatures.
The back of the book is filled with information about turkeys—wild and domestic. Jenny’s Journal highlights her research about the big birds at the public library; Jenny’s Fun Things to Do suggests artful ways to learn about turkeys; and Animal Tracks has a picture puzzle of footprints made by different animals and challenges readers to identify them.
Cathryn Falwell creates a highly enjoyable learning experience in Gobble Gobble. The drawings are fabulous with amazing detail and the large-scale illustrations, bright with color and black-bordered pages, make distinctive framed prints. Falwell instills love and understanding of wild life and its surroundings, a talented artist who strives to inspire and connect children with nature.
— ForeWord Reviews – Mary Popham (October 2011)
A girl is fascinated by the flock of wild turkeys living near her home. Simple, rhyming text describes the appearance and habits of the birds throughout the year. In the spring, Jenny watches from her window as “Toms strut and/puff to look their/best. Turkey hens make/shallow nests.” Respectful of nature, she observes from a distance as baby poults hatch in the summer and roost high in backyard trees in autumn. In the winter, Jenny follows a trail of footprints and spies her turkey friends perched on top of a snowman. Falwell’s collage illustrations include leaf prints and vibrantly capture the changing seasonal landscapes. An afterword, “Jenny’s Journal,” provides more facts about wild turkeys. This informational picture book will inspire young naturalists to explore their own surroundings.
— School Library Journal – Linda Ludke (December 2011)
Cathryn Falwell’s book Gobble Gobble follows the seasons of a year with the antics of a little girl and a rafter of turkeys. The artwork will delight children and adults and the simple narration is perfect for youngsters. Older children will enjoy Jenny’s Journal, a lovely mix of words, art, and found objects. Best of all this book encourages curious young naturalists to visit the library and explore their own woods to learn more!
— International Wildlife Rehab Council – Kai Williams (October 2011)
Dawn Publications is committed to helping young people develop a connection to the earth and the many species who live here. Cathryn Falwell’s lively poem and energetic illustrations make a valuable contribution toward that goal. The story follows a young girl’s observation of wild turkeys through the seasons. We learn about these uniquely American birds with her, as she watches, tracks, and studies them. Falwell’s illustrations show us her wonder, joy, and surprise at her discoveries. They also bring the forest to life. As readers move through the pages of the book, they will be immersed in the activity of the turkeys and other animals. This is a great gift item that will capture the imagination of young readers and bring a smile to the faces of adults as well.
— New Age Retailer – Anna Jedrziewski (December 2011)
Wild turkeys reside almost everywhere in the U.S. Here, a girl lives in a rural area introduces readers to their life cycle. The short, rhyming text begins in the spring. Jenny (we learn her name in the informative back matter, “Jenny’s Journal”) spies turkey toms strutting around as well as hens making shallow nests; by summer, the turkeys crunching through the leaves, and during the winter months, the big birds roost in the trees. . . . the colorful illustrations, with the look of woodcuts, catch the eye. . . . The journal is where kids will learn about the turkey’s history, how they were brought back from near extinction, and a good deal about baby turkeys. A few activities round out the treatment.
— Booklist (American Library Assn.) – Ilene Cooper (October 15, 2011)
Gobble Gobble is a creative illustrated children’s nature journal about discovering and observing the amazing American wild turkey. The first part of the book is a beautifully illustrated rhyming narrative, with observations of wild turkeys through the four seasons, described as glimpsed by a girl named Jenny and her dog, Max. At the end of the book are turkey information pages titled Jenny’s Journal, with many interesting facts and creative pictures to illustrate turkey lore. There are several suggested related activities, such as Make a nature journal, Make cut-paper pictures, and Go outside and see what animals you can find! There are colored pictures of different tracks for kids to guess what animals made which tracks. An adorable strip of colored paper shows turkey poults, or baby turkeys, as represented artistically using cut pieces of a brown paper bag. The artwork throughout is unique and creative, combining block prints and collages, plus many items from nature, such as bark, leaves, feathers, etc. Gobble Gobble is an American treasure trove of turkey lore for kids age 3-8 all around the year, including (especially) Thanksgiving.
— Midwest Book Review (December 2011)
Youngsters who know turkey only as the Thanksgiving entree will be intrigued by Cathryn Falwell’s informative, rhyming romp with wild turkeys through the seasons. The book opens with an engaging mystery. In her large backyard, Jenny comes across arrow-shaped footprints and brown feathers and hears a “funny gobbling sound.” What can it be? The page turn reveals a flock of turkeys, and subsequent pages show strutting toms in spring, hens and poults in summer and turkeys amid colorful leaves and bare trees in fall and winter, respectively. Youngsters will also enjoy searching for bits of natural material (bark, leaves, feathers) in Falwell’s enticing mixed-media illustrations. Jenny is a wonderful model of a child fully alive to the natural world and respectful of its denizens, which include not only turkeys but deer, chickadees, cardinals and squirrels. Additional wild-turkey facts and directions for creating a cut-paper fowl can be found in the back.
— Washington Parent – Mary Quattlebaum (November 2011)
Who are those funny-looking birds with big feet? Turkeys! A young girl sees arrow-shaped footprints in the muddy spring ground and follows them to a clearing where she finds a flock of wild turkeys. Throughout each of the seasons she observes the birds in their natural habitat: eating, growing, hatching babies, and reacting to the weather and other animals. Jenny, our narrator, follows up the well-rhymed story with a short journal entry sharing additional facts and figures about wild turkeys and offering some suggestions for art projects, nature activities, and ways to find out even more at the library or on the internet. The story itself is brief enough for a pre-school audience while the supplemental journal information can easily be used with second graders. The illustrations are block prints layered on collage backgrounds. They beautifully complement the woodsy scenery and add texture and richness to the reading experience. This would be a great early non-fiction addition to a traditional Thanksgiving unit.
— Children’s Literature – Amy McMillan (November 2011)
In this rhyming journey through the seasons, Jenny, a young girl, and her dog Max highlight their encounters with wild turkeys. From the arrow-like footprints the turkeys’ strong feet make, to their ability to fly and roost high up in the trees, readers get a glimpse of what it would be like o have turkeys living in their own backyards. The colorful pictures complement the story. An additional “Jenny’s Journal” section shares factual information about wild turkeys and the National Wild Turkey Federation that manage to keep the wild turkeys from vanishing forever. Craft ideas and an “Animal Tracks” identification page round out the fun. This is a story that would appeal to lovers of nature throughout the year, but is even more appropriate in the weeks before Thanksgiving.
— Library Media Connection (Jan/Feb 2012)
Young naturalists will love following along with Jenny as she watches wild turkeys near her house as they nest and raise their young. Spring, summer, autumn and winter bring out different fascinating things about the turkeys, and young readers can see them all in the author’s charming illustrations. Readers can also learn more about the American wild turkeys in “Jenny’s Journal” at the end of the book. A great book to share at Thanksgiving!
— Kern County Family Magazine – Tracie Grimes (November 2011)
It is spring, and Jenny is in the woods exploring when she sees strange prints in the mud and some feathers on the ground. She hears a “funny gobbling sound,” and when she peers around a tree, she sees a flock of turkeys looking for “seeds to eat.” Some days later, she sees the tom turkeys strutting around with their tail feathers fanned out, and the hens are scraping at the ground to make shallow nests.
In the summer, the turkeys’ eggs hatch, and Jenny sees the hens leading their babies around. Then in the fall, the turkeys roost in trees to get away from the frozen, cold, and often slippery, ground. In winter, will the turkeys slide down the snowy hill as Jenny and her friends do?
In this fact filled picture book, Cathryn Falwell shows children what wild turkeys are like, using a bouncy rhyming text to tell the story of turkey behavior from season to season. At the back of the book readers will find Jenny’s turkey journal. Here she provides readers with further information about wild turkey history, conservation, and biology. Jenny also suggests three activities that children can try that will help them to better appreciate the natural world around them.
— Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Review (January 6, 2012)
In short rhyming text, a girl who lives in the country tells us about the turkeys she observes through the year. Starting in spring she watches them looking for seeds; the males strut and spread their tail feathers while the females make shallow nests; the turkeys fly away when her dog approaches and roost in trees in the winter. Significantly more information is included in “Jenny’s Journal” at the end along with fun things to do. The black framed wood block illustrations are realistic and brightly colored.
— HRLC Book Review (April 2012)
As my husband and I sat with our specially ordered vegan meals in front of us, I heard the wedding guests sitting on the other side of the table raving about deep frying turkeys and giving pointers to another couple about how to do it and I had an insane urge to yell “der Gobbler, Gobbler!” like the turkey-obsessed Swedish Chef on one of our family’s favorite movies, “Muppet Family Christmas.”
As the holidays loom ahead, more and more talk of turkeys will crop up and usually in terms of meat (although there is an increasing number of vegetarian options like The New York Times’ Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving). It is especially lovely to find gems like Gobble Gobble which focuses on turkeys as interesting animals with unique traits rather than a traditional holiday specialty: stuffed, roasted carcass.
Although Gobble Gobble is primarily about wild turkeys, it emphasizes the way turkeys are originally meant to be rather than the flightless, over-bred, overweight domestic turkeys found on factory and smaller farms.
Similar to Jo MacDonald Saw a Pond, Gobble Gobble has an observant, young naturalist modeling respect for wildlife. Jenny is a young girl who is lucky enough to live where wild turkeys wander through her yard. With each season, she describes their antics and imparts more information about wild turkeys. My daughter and I loved how expressive and detailed the turkey illustrations were and some pages made us laugh out loud. Author and illustrator Cathryn Falwell, uses block printing, paint, and collage techniques for her colorful illustrations.
The rhymes are cute, without feeling forced, and the name of each season is written in a different color. At the back are several pages with additional information and history about wild turkeys and their domestic counterparts, explanations of a turkey snood (the red doohickey on the head) and caruncle (bumpy skin around the head area), and terms like tom or gobbler (male), poult (baby turkey), jake (young male), and jenny (young female). There are also some suggested activities for kids and an animal print identification activity.
One of my favorite lines in the story is, “The year is coming to an end. Turkeys know that I’m their friend.” It gives me hope that characters like Jenny (and even Swedish Chef!) can model kindness towards birds so children know that turkeys and other birds are animal friends, not a holiday meal. Hopefully, this year many folks will befriend a domestic turkey by either adopting a turkey at a local farm sanctuary, attending a vegan thanksgiving event, and/or making several of many delicious vegan Thanksgiving recipes (Nava Atlas has a new Vegan Holiday Kitchen cookbook out!) to introduce to family and friends.
— Vegbooks – Huyen MacMichael (November 13, 2011)
Gobble Gobble is the story of Jenny, a young girl and backyard naturalist who follows a year in the life of a flock of wild turkeys. The colorful, sometimes whimsical illustrations and rhyming verse depict the turkeys looking for food, nesting, roosting in the trees, and sliding down snow-covered hills.
The target audience – children ages 3 to 8 – will also enjoy “Jenny’s Journal,” at the back of the book, which offers facts about turkeys as well as ideas for keeping a nature journal and creating collages. Downloadable activities for the book are at cathrynfallwell.com
Falwell, a member of the Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland, Maine, has written and illustrated more than eighteen children’s books, including the award-winning Turtle Splash!
— U.U. World (Unitarian Univ. Assoc. of Congregations) – Sonja L. Cohen (Winter 2011)
When do you normally think about turkeys? Isn’t it usually around Thanksgiving? But, of course, turkeys live year round. Jenny is a curious girl who likes to observe nature. In the spring, she finds arrow-shaped footprints and striped feathers that lead her to a flock gobbling wild turkeys looking for seeds to eat. In the summer she sees the turkey babies as they hatch and run. In autumn, as it turns cooler, the turkeys roost up in the trees. And what do you imagine turkeys do in the winter? Do you think that they might slip and slide in the snow like the rest of us?
Not only does this charming book provide information about the life cycle of wild turkeys in a woodland habitat and reinforce the progression of the seasons for children, it also encourages observation skills in youngsters as they look at nature. In the back, “Jenny’s Journal” gives more facts about turkeys, plus there are a list of fun things to do and an animal tracks guessing game. Cathryn Falwell, who has written and illustrated over eighteen children’s books, accents her rhyming text with unique illustrations of block prints over collages which are made from cut and torn paper with all sorts of things from nature, such as bark, leaves, feathers, and even wasps nests. More downloadable activities for this book are located at the publisher’s website. Gobble, Gobble is a young nature lover’s delight!
— Home School Book Review – Wayne S. Walker (September 2011)
The seasons of the year are described through the eyes of a young girl, Jenny, and her experiences in the woods near her home, as she watches a flock of turkeys grow and develop. At the end of the book, Jenny shares her journal about turkeys with readers, which includes information and art projects about turkeys, along with suggestions for outdoor activities and a guide to animal tracks.
— Topeka Capital-Journal – Elizabeth Dobler (October 9, 2011)
RATING: Four Stars
WHAT IT IS
This rhyming book follows Jenny as she plays outside and watches wild turkeys through the four seasons. Jenny’s Journal, at the end, shares facts about wild turkeys.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Though simple, the rhyming text is catchy. Kids will enjoy watching Jenny and the turkeys as the seasons progress. The illustrations are rich and textural. The coloring of each turkey is very detailed, and one may notice unique touches, like a tree in the forest that is a stamp of a real leaf, if they look closely enough. As a born and bred New Englander, turkeys were everywhere in the area surrounding my house when I grew up, so I was surprised to learn in the “Jenny’s Journal” segment in the back of the book that turkeys were once in danger of becoming extinct! Between the colorful and engaging pictures, the rhyming text, and the informative journal in back, Gobble Gobble offers more than your average picture book.
WHY THEY´LL WANT IT
This would be a great book for stores that carry nature-themed or eco-friendly books and toys. It also would be a perfect offering in the fall and Thanksgiving seasons, so kids can learn more about the bird that has become practically synonymous with autumn. Educators will like the informative yet casual “Jenny’s Journal” in the back of the book, which also offers arts & crafts and other nature-inspired activity ideas.
— Toy Directory Monthly – Justina Huddleston (October 2011)
Arrow-shaped footprints lead a young backyard naturalist to a flock of funny-looking birds with big strong feet: Wild Turkeys! Once nearly extinct, these comical critters now gobble their way across North America. Follow Jenny through a year of enchantment as she shares her discovery of these wonderful birds. Gobble, gobble! Jenny wrote a journal, too, with lots of fascinating stuff about a distinctly American bird. Although it once numbered in the millions, wild turkeys nearly disappeared with overhunting and habitat destruction, but are now making a comeback. The illustrations are block prints over collages. The collages are made from cut and torn paper plus all sorts of things from nature bark, leaves, feathers, even wasp nests! The author also offers tips for children to make their own cut-paper pictures and how to keep a journal.
— Stevo’s Book Reviews (September 2011)
Where do turkeys live? Where do they come from? What is a normal day in the life of a turkey? Gobble, Gobble follows young Jenny throughout the book as she learns more about wild turkeys, their habitat and environment by simply taking part in their world. Jenny discovers the beauty of autumn, the print of turkey feet, the secret to their flight and much more in this vivid and colorful book that will delight your child.
“It?s called Gobble, Gobble – just like we gobble our food!
“Turkeys say gobble. The little girl searches for turkeys – gobble, gobble. She looks out her window and sees turkeys. Babies start to wobble and turkeys fly when they are scared of the dog. They walk when it?s fall and leaves start to fall. They skate on ice and wobble to and fro. They go up in the trees when it?s snowy, wet and cold. The dog is cold and the turkeys walk away when it?s cold. Turkeys slide down hills when it?s snowy and bump their butts! They make a snow man and one sits on top of its head. The end.”
“I like the prints! I can name them, Turkey, Deer, Singing Bird, squirrels, kid, shoes, dog, and footprints. This book is good. I liked it. I would like to be the little girl and see the turkeys outside. Why are they wild?”
This book was a positive and fun learning experience for Madison. We were able to discuss the difference between wild turkeys and farm turkeys. She loves nature and enjoyed the book. I could tell she would love to be Jenny and find a wild turkey or two! The illustrations are realistic and quite colorful in regards to the fall setting. This book is not your normal turkey, Thanksgiving Day story. It has a different focus, one that enables conversation and learning. We enjoyed the read and would recommend Gobble, Gobble.
— Kids Reader Views – Madison Schlarman (age 5) and Mom (October 2011)
Written for children ages three to eight, this book offers fascinating information about turkeys, which are uniquely American birds. With illustrations also by Falwell, this Fall 2011 Dawn Publications book tells the story of Jenny, a curious little girl who follows arrow-shaped footprints to a flock of wild turkeys. Her observations cover each season of a year.
There were once millions of these somewhat mysterious birds in North America. Europeans who arrived hunted turkeys for food and destroyed their natural habitat by building houses, cities and farms. Conservation efforts in recent years have helped to increase the number of wild turkeys in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, even in suburban areas.
Falwell creates her illustrations using block prints over collages made from cu-and-torn paper. To the bits and pieces of paper, she adds bark, leaves, feathers and wasp nests. Falwell includes tips on how children can make their own cut-paper pictures and how to create and keep a nature journal.
Gobble, Gobble is another great book selection for family and classroom sharing. It is colorful and well-written with suggestions for further activities related to the study of nature. The author says she has an “old lady tree house, built just for me” from which she spends happy times observing nature. Her tree house has screens and a rocking chair.
— Elk City Daily News – Dee Ann Ray (September 4, 2011)
Turkeys, turkeys everywhere! Here’s an enjoyable down to earth (and up in the trees) chronicle, following the now ubiquitous wild critters through the seasons – just as we might see them – in simple verse, energetic art and factual afterword.
— Prof. Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Library Science