cover image A Turkey Drive and Other Tales

A Turkey Drive and Other Tales

Barbara Ann Porte. Greenwillow Books, $14 (63pp) ISBN 978-0-688-11336-0

Introduced in The Take-Along Dog , the storytelling family made up of Abigail and Sam, their parents and dog Benton returns for another round of quirky, loosely connected tales. In the first few stories, turkeys, pigeons and roosters gobble, coo and crow their way through preposterous predicaments described by the inventive narrators. The remaining chapters are said to be inspired by art--both famous works and those crafted by various family members. Porte's energetic imagery and plotting keeps the pages turning, but the storytelling framework that was so successful in Taxicab Tales seems contrived here. The characters' awareness of the narrative device causes the book to take on an artificial feel. They also catch each other in an abundance of wild exaggerations, casting the tellers as distrustful, as opposed to fun-loving yarn-spinners. Abolafia's whimsical black-and-white line drawings sustain a lighthearted mood, and occasionally add a nudge-and-wink humor to the proceedings. Ages 5-up. (Apr.)