The Christmas Feast by Nathalie Dargent, illustrated by Magali Le Huche (9780802855374
The wolf, the fox and the weasel decide that this year they will have a Christmas feast. Fox stole a turkey from the farm, but the plan didn’t quite work out after that. Once at the fox’s house, the turkey started telling the fox how he should prepare for the Christmas feast. The first step was cleaning up a bit. Turkey then asked for dinner, but it turned out that none of the others could cook. So Turkey made them a delicious stew from ingredients they foraged. That night they played cards and had a great time, even giving Turkey the best spot to sleep. The next day, Turkey made them all breakfast and then over the next few days, they decorated for Christmas. Finally on Christmas Eve, Turkey announced it was time for them to cook her, she requested to be flambeed. The friends dodged the question, but Turkey had the perfect solution in the end, one that worked for Christmas and the seasons that followed.
This Christmas story is a great twist on trickster tales of creatures being captured to be eaten and then tricking their captors into allowing them to escape. Here, there is a true friendship that is created on the pages, with Turkey enjoying their time together just as much as the others. It works because Turkey is entirely in charge from the very time she enters their home. She may be demanding, but she also provides for them, cares for them and makes their days better.
The art is cartoony and clear. The art has a sense of merriment throughout, showcasing Turkey as she leads the group of predators, creating a happy home for them all. There are small details throughout their home that are worth exploring, especially as the home changes with Turkey’s influence.
This is a book that will work well shared aloud in a holiday story time or around the Christmas tree. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from copy provided by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.