A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk
Written by Deborah Ruddell,
Illustrated by Joan Rankin
Simon & Schuster, McElderry Books, 2009
Suitable for: Ages 4-8
Themes/Topics: Nature, Seasons, Animals, Poetry
Opening/Synopsis: From the book jacket- Take a lighthearted romp through four seasons in the forest with these whimsical poems. Marvel at the overachieving beaver, applaud the race-winning snail and its perfect trail of slime, or head off to be pampered at a squirrel spa.
A WILD TURKEY COMMENTS ON HIS PORTRAIT
I find it most insulting
that you traced around your hand
and colored all my feathers
either plain old brown or tan.
Where’s the copper? Where’s the gold
that a turkey should expect?
Where on earth is raw sienna,
and where is the respect?
Finally, I’m baffled
that you’ve made me look so dumb.
My head is quite distinguished
and it’s nothing like your thumb.
Used by permission of the author. Deborah Ruddell, 2009.
Activities: Deborah Ruddell offers a plethora of classroom activities at her website, including this classroom guide. Take a sensory-filled walk through the woods to see, smell, and listen to the wonder around you. I’d be remiss not to suggest tracing your hand and coloring a turkey in vibrant colors including copper, gold and raw sienna!
Why I Like This Book: Delightful tongue-tickling, toe-tapping poems featuring forest critters of all sorts and amusing, spot-on illustrations have made this book a consistent family favorite. We quote its oh-so-memorable descriptive lines when we spot a critter in the woods, and our Thanksgiving tradition is to read aloud the hysterically funny A WILD TURKEY COMMENTS ON HIS PORTRAIT.
For more fantastic picture books and resources please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. My thanks to Deborah for granting permission to share my favorite poem from this book. Happy Thanksgiving!