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When I Was a Turkey
Joe Hutto with Brenda Z Guiberson
ISBN: HC 978-1-62779-385-8
ISBN: EB 978-1-62779-386-5
Based on the Emmy Award-Winning PBS Documentary My Life As A Turkey.
The true story of naturalist Joe Hutto who lived like a turkey through the fascinating behavior process of imprinting.
When a local farmer left a bowl of wild turkey eggs on Joe Hutto's front porch, his life was forever changed. Joe incubated the eggs and waited for them to hatch. Deep in the wilds of Florida's flatwoods, he then spent each day living as a turkey mother, taking on the full-time job of raising twenty-three turkey poults.
For nearly two years, Joe dutifully cared for his family around the clock, roosting with them, taking then foraging, and immersing himself in their world. In the process, they revealed their charming curiosity and surprising intellect. There was little he could teach them that they would not know instinctively, but he showed them the lay of the land and and protected them from the dangers of the forest as best he could. In return they taught him to see the world through their eyes.
Awards and Accolades
★ "The text reads easily and is liberally illustrated with Joe's excellent pencil drawings. Many black-and-white photos are also included. VERDICT This title is well done, and should be a first choice for libraries needing middle grade nonfiction materials."
-- School Library Journal, starred review
"Both a record of an intense experience and a reflection on human relationships with the natural world. Young nature lovers will gobble this up."
"Fascinating . . . Guiberson has written many good science books for children. Hutto's precise, shaded pencil drawings illustrate his story along with two maps and a section of photos. An unusual, engaging choice for animal-lovers."
-- Junior Library Guild selection
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