A Thanksgiving Reprise for Hand Turkeys

As many of us begin preparations for the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m offering a look back at one of my favorite poetry picture books, Deborah Ruddell’s brilliant A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk.  Visit my original #PPBF post with resources by clicking this link.


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 baffledpineskunk
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.

Wishing those who celebrate a pumpkin pie-perfect kind of day gathered with family and friends to express gratitude for health, happiness, and one another.


About Cathy Ballou Mealey

Children's book author, repped by Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency. Wife, mother, daughter, sister, alumna, autism advocate, book reviewer. Reach me via email at cmealey@post.harvard.edu or Twitter @catballoumealey
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16 Responses to A Thanksgiving Reprise for Hand Turkeys

  1. mariagianferrari says:

    Thank you for the much needed chortle, Cathy!!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! So grateful to have you as a friend!!

    ~Maria xo

  2. Loved your post! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Love the poem. It’s awfully cute. I just ordered up the book from my library. I’d never heard of it. I look forward to reading more fun poems. Thanks for the post.

  4. rnewman504 says:

    Love the poem! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Cathy! xo

  5. Love the poem but the Turkey print is great.

    I’ll never look at my hand the same way … mind you it often looks similar.

  6. tinamcho says:

    Very cute poem. I just did hand print turkeys w/my class yesterday, although using crayons.

    • I so admire my daughter’s preschool teachers who were fearless when it came to paint, clay, shaving cream and all sorts of fun craft supplies. They also made Santa Claus beards by stomping their white-paint covered bare feet on paper. Amazing!

  7. Oh how I gobbled up this poem! I think I am going to have to read the rest of Ruddell’s delightful book for the brilliant title alone.

  8. Hope you had a happy thanksgiving! The hand turkey brings back fun memories of elementary school. And I enjoyed the poem! CC

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