#456 – Edmond the Daddy Turkey by Mary Taylor Beierle & Tim McNamee

turkey daddyEdmond the Daddy Turkey

by Mary Taylor Beierle

Tim McNamee, illustrator

Published by Mary Taylor Beierle

Back Cover:  “Edmond is a boy turkey who lives on a farm in East Tennessee. He learns how a dad turkey should behave.”

Opening:  “Edmond was a tom (boy) turkey and Sophie was a hen (girl) turkey. They lived on a farm in the mountains of East Tennessee and roamed all over the far eating grass and bugs and had a good life together.”

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In East Tennessee, on a farm owned by Farmer Drawman—a strange man without eyes—two turkeys, Sophie and Edmond, fell in love, and had nine baby turkeys. Sophie, the female turkey, is responsible for building the nest, laying the eggs, staying with the eggs to keep them safe and warm, and, once they arrive, raising the babies, called poults, . She also taught them to avoid the electric fence Farmer Drawman put up to keep out predators. Like some human children, a few of the poults had to test the fence for themselves. They received quite a shock.

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Then, one dark and stormy night (my apologies), a terrible event occurred. While out by the electric fence, lightning struck and killed Sophie. Now alone, the little ones found Edmond, but he had no idea how to be a daddy. When night fell, Edmond flew up to his perch in the maple tree, leaving the poults on the cold ground.

The young turkeys became frightened without their mother’s protection. They decided to try climbing the perch ladder one more time. Propelled by their fear, the nine babies successfully perched next to dad. When the night chill arrived, the poults ducked into Edmond’s feathers–as they had Sophie’s feathers–and found warmth. That night, Edmond became a father; a real daddy to his young family.

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Edmond the Daddy Turkey, based on a true story, happened on the author’s farm. The bright and colorful illustrations add depth to the long text. I have never seen poults, but the ones in this story are the cutest, and often zaniest, creatures. Kids will love the babies. Farmer Drawman—an unusual name—wears white opaque glasses. With his bright yellow skin, the farmer looks like a smilie without eyes. The other animals, especially the baby turkeys, are cute and some are realistically drawn.

The text is longer than traditional picture books. At 1,060 words on 38 story pages, young attention spans may be tested. There are several places the text needs edited and shorten. One problem with publishing your own book is the costs. A good editor can be expensive, yet as hard as we may try, editing our own story rarely works out. While I like the story, it could have been better with tighter editing.

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Edmond the Daddy Turkey is a cute picture book young children will like. You can even see the real Edmond on the author’s website and at the back of the book. The babies, called poults, are adorable and at times comical. Story hours, bedtime reading, or an afternoon break are all good places and times to read Edmond the Daddy Turkey. The story will surely cause some wonderful giggling. Though there is a sad spread, the story soon overcomes this with resilience and love, as the poults and Daddy become an even stronger family of ten.

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Edmond the Daddy Turkey

by Mary Taylor Beierle    website

Tim McNamee, illustrator

Published by Mary Taylor Beierle

Released December 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9859861-2-4

48 pages

Age 3 to 8

Also available at iTunes (and in Spanish).

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EDMOND THE TURKEY DADDY. Text © 2012 by Mary Taylor Beierle. Illustrations © 2012 by Tim McNamee. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Mary Taylor Beierle, Johnson City, TN.

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emond turkey daddy correct title.

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11 thoughts on “#456 – Edmond the Daddy Turkey by Mary Taylor Beierle & Tim McNamee

  1. I think this is a valuable tool for children to learn about farm life in a healthy way. Often, animals grown for market are not a great topic for a kids’ book, but this is an interesting book for children. I think it should hold their attention. It did mine.

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    • Not a premise kiddo. This is based on a true story. This really happened in the author’s backyard/farm. Not sure who Farmer Drawman is suppose to be or if he is fiction. The really Edmund, the daddy turkey, has his picture in the back of the book. He looks healthy, but no baby turkeys in photo with him – and no mamma turkey either.

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  2. Those are cute little poults! But that farmer is a little scary with no eyes. And whoa! To kill Mom off like that is pretty heavy. I hope it doesn’t show the dead Mom. A dead chicken is not a pretty sight. And I’m sure a dead turkey is not either. Although the smell is intriguing.

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  3. These illustrations look absolutely adorable 🙂 And as for length, I have no problem with longer text IF the story is compelling enough and you need the words. If you see a lot could be cut and it wouldn’t change the story, but tighten it and make it better, then for sure, it should be cut.

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    • The story is cute but I think much could be trimmed and it would be a better story. This is based on a true story and I think the author wanted to get in as much detail as to what happened that she lost sight of the picture book itself. Of course, this is always just my opinion. that is all a review really is: one person’s opinion.

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      • Ah, that’s why it’s important to learn how to write FROM life, not ABOUT life. It’s like including all the “Ums,” “Uhs,” and hiccups in regular conversation. There’s a big difference between telling a fictional story based on a true one, and writing a memoir or essay.

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