Makin’ a Turkey Story Work(ey)

The moment I came up with a storytime theme of Quirky Turkeys I knew that I wanted silly turkey stories that would work for our youngest crowds.  Guess what? We didn’t have a whole lot of options.  But that’s when several things that had been simmering in my brain finally came to a boil:  I had read this very inspirational story that Mo Willems had tweeted (seriously, read it and see if it doesn’t move you), and then I saw this craft posted on Pinterest.  And I knew that I wanted Pigeon to unwisely sneak into a turkey book…dressed as a turkey.

I scanned in some pigeon images, and then photoshopped turkey parts I created onto him.  Then I printed out the images, cut them out, and used sticky tac to stick them to the pages of my chosen book Run Turkey, Run by Diane Mayr and illustrated by Laura Rader.  I also used paperclips to get me to different parts of the story easily since I was doing a very abbreviated version of the story.  I also modified my concept to have Pigeon trying to do something nice for the sneaky turkey.

Here are the highlights:

My "purkey" book! It looks normal on the outside, but a surprise awaits the kids on the inside!

Mo Willems' The Pigeon is making a guest appearance in this turkey story. He does lack timing.

Oh Pigeon! Bad timing to step into a story!The young children won't care if they can see a bit of the turkey from the story peeking out from behind Pigeon.

The final moment for Pigeon in this short version of the story until we get to the back cover.

A pouty Pigeon at the end of the story - at least he survived!

I plan on teaching the children and parents the ASL for “run” and “turkey” so that they have a bonus involvement in the storytelling.

I know that the youngest in the audience won’t really get what’s going on.  The three-year-olds will likely enjoy it the most along with their parents.  But I’m a big believer that we must also entertain the parents who have made the commitment to bring their children to storytime.  I’m like Pixar like that.  But seriously, I want the parents to be just excited to come to storytime to see what creative and fun things we do to help their children learn and ignite their (both the kids’ and parents’) imaginations.

That’s it! I’d like to think that if Tim Gunn were an anthropomorphic turkey, then he’d say that I “made it workey.”  Heh.

UPDATE: I know that writing an update for a post that I haven’t even published yet is a bit silly.  However, I didn’t want to mess with trying to figure out how to insert the “after” of this process within the body of this post (a.k.a. laziness).

I wanted to tell you what a HUGE hit this was.  The moment I opened the book and acted surprised to see Pigeon, the kids were hooked in a major way.  There were squeals of delight, and there was a lot of laughter throughout.  Shortening the story was perfect for my audience, and I think that older preschoolers would enjoy this even more.

And, unfortunately for Pigeon, I might have to do another “crossover” storytime featuring him again.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE:  I had a second storytime featuring this book with the same age group (0-3), and they were rather ambivalent.  They had a good initial reaction, but then they became fidgety and lost interest.  Oh well.  I’d still like to try this again.