Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Turnip

Happy New Year!

Five plus years into this writers’ journey, I realize it’s time to STOP. Take stock. And add some strategy to those drafts languishing on my ailing laptop, including the twelve I wrote in 2015. So, for 2016, I resolve:

*to share my work with fellow writers and spend more time on revisions, with the ultimate goal of submitting my work to at least six agents and/or publishers in 2016;

*to strategically partake of online courses that will help hone my craft and to attend a few key conferences (NJSCBWI, here I come!);

*to read, and read some more.

And speaking of reading, what better way to share that than by contributing to the ever-growing database of picture books at Susanna Hill’s site? And if the first book of 2016 involves a heaping helping of a healthy treat, so much the better!


Title: The Turnip

Written and Illustrated By: Jan Brett

2015, Penguin Young Readers Group

Suitable for Ages: 3-5

Themes/Topics: food; animals; folk tales

Opening: “Badger Girl was weeding the vegetable patch when she saw something strange growing in the garden. It was the biggest turnip she had ever seen.”

Brief Synopsis: When Badger Girl is unable to pull a giant turnip from the ground, her family and animal friends take turns trying to pull. In a twisted ending, a rooster in search of a home finally manages to pull the turnip – but does he succeed on his own?

Links to Resources: Cook and eat turnips (a site called Eating Well has some easy-to-prepare & healthy ideas); grow turnips and/or other root vegetables in the garden; learn more about and color a Badger; design and color Russian folk art, like that framing each page.

Why I Like this Book: With its surprise ending, The Turnip shows that sometimes all is not as it seems. Only the observant reader will realize that the actions in the turnip-shaped side illustrations lead up to the real reason the rooster succeeds in pulling the turnip from the ground. The rich illustrations add much to the story and truly evoke the Russian setting of this old folk tale.

This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!

12 responses to “Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Turnip

  1. Congratulations on the 2016 goals! Yes. Get your work out into the world. My son really likes folk tales.

  2. Such a wonderful classic tale! and from Jan Brett – even better!

  3. Ah, another Jan Brett book I have to read and also get lost in her fabulous, detail-filled illustrations.

  4. Haven’t read this wonderful Jan Brett book! Must get a copy. I love her books, and I’m curious how this ends. Beautiful artwork!

  5. I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Jan Brett speak and show some of her artwork this past summer. Beautiful work and lovely person!

  6. Great goals! I am so curious about the ending of this book. I love turnip. We put them in a lot of dishes in England.

  7. I Love anything Jan Brett and will promptly go forth and put a hold on it at my local library.

    Thanks so much for sharing it.

    And yes, your goals for 2016 are similar to mine . Good luck! 🙂

  8. This looks delightful. Just put it on hold at the library 🙂

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