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The Money We'll Save

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  285 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews

One of Horn Book’s Best Picture Books of 2011

When Pa brings a turkey poult home to fatten for Christmas dinner, he assures Ma that it will be no trouble since it can live in a box by the stove and eat table scraps--and just think of the money we'll save! But it's not quite so simple to raise a turkey in a tiny flat in a nineteenth-century New York City tenement. Can Pa
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Jan 05, 2012 David rated it liked it
The Money We'll Save by Brock Cole follows the attempt by Pa to save money for Christmas by bringing home a young turkey to fatten up for Christmas dinner.

Set in a 19th century New York City tenement, this humorous family story finds Pa buying a young turkey when sent out by busy Ma to the market. Fed table scraps, the turkey soon outgrows its box, gets into everything, and makes stinky messes in the apartment. Keeping the turkey on the fire escape or suspending it in a pen don't work. When it'
Richie Partington
Nov 22, 2011 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
Richie's Picks: THE MONEY WE'LL SAVE by Brock Cole, Farrar Straus Giroux, October 2011, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-374-35011-6

All of the children are constructively engaged in their assigned tasks so...

"So Ma decided to send Pa.
"'Now just buy two eggs and a half pound of flour,' she told him. "'Remember, Christmas is not far off, and we must save every penny.'
"'I'll remember,' said Pa, and he set off with a shopping basket and purse."

Back in the seventies, at a time when many of us became engaged in that
Oct 04, 2011 Kathryn rated it really liked it
When a nineteenth-century New York City tenement family struggling to make ends meet dreams of a wonderful Christmas, Pa takes matters into his own hands and buys a young turkey to grow into their Christmas turkey. He soothes his shocked and somewhat disgruntled wife by telling her to think of the money they would save, fattening up the turkey with table scraps vs. spending all that money on a turkey come Christmas time. But, things go awry as the turkey wreaks havoc around the apartments and go ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Nov 23, 2011 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it really liked it
Pa brings home a little turkey baby, assuring Ma that this will save the family money in the difficult times of a nineteenth century New York tenement building. But will the turkey save the family money, when he messes up the ironing and steals the baby’s biscuits?

“There were so many complaints and so much extra washing that when Pa and the children caught Alfred there was nothing to do but bring him back into the flat.

‘It’s just for a few days, now,’ Pa explained to Ma. ‘And that idea you had a
In an attempt to save money for Christmas, Papa buys a young turkey with the intention of fattening it up for Christmas dinner. Unfortunately, there isn't really room inside a nineteenth-century tenement flat to raise a turkey. The smell is bad, the noise is bad, and the mess is bad. Papa tries all sorts of remedies--build the bird a pen, move the pen to the fire escape, hang the pen over the alley privies by the clothesline--but every remedy fails, and every remedy costs him more money. The phr ...more
Dec 15, 2012 Josiah rated it it was ok
Brock Cole's illustrations can be quite surprising. While his drawings of people are most definitely simple in form, with movement and facial expressions that rate toward the rudimentary end of the spectrum, his rendering of routine scenery is often splendidly detailed and imaginative. A great example of this is the illustrations on the inside covers of The Money We'll Save, of laundry being hung between apartment fire escapes. This may have been a routine sight for apartment dwellers of the ti ...more
May 24, 2011 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
When Ma is forced to send Pa to the store for eggs and flour, she warns him to just buy those two items. But Pa is talked into purchasing a turkey poult at the market because of the money he’ll save. They plan on having the turkey for Christmas dinner after feeding it on scraps and letting it live in a box by the stove. But their nineteenth century apartment was definitely not designed to raise poultry. Alfred, the turkey, grew and grew and soon started to eat much more than table scraps. The fa ...more
Mar 17, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
As time for the holidays are approaching, the family in this picture book set in a nineteenth century New York tenement is trying to pinch pennies so they can have a feast. While running errands for his wife, the father comes home with a young turkey that he plans to raise for their Christmas dinner. It can live in a box by the stove and eat table scraps. But the best laid plans of mice and men don't always work out as they plan, and the turkey essentially takes over the house. Some of the fathe ...more
Katie Krimmel
Sep 27, 2012 Katie Krimmel rated it really liked it
The book The Money We’ll Save, is about a sweet family who is trying to save every penny for Christmas. The Father thinks that by buying a turkey to fatten up on their own for Christmas dinner will help with saving some of those pennies. Well, Alfred, the turkey, causes some trouble around the apartment complex. It’s a must read to find out what it would be like to live with a turkey, and if the family does end up eating him for Christmas dinner.

I would recommend this book for first through fou
Oct 11, 2013 Kara rated it it was amazing

I was a little put off by the “clueless dad” trope the book uses, but the rest of the book is so hilarious I’ll give it a pass.

Rule Number One of farm life is Never Name Your Food. However, our main characters live in New York City, and when they name the young turkey Pa brings home to fatten up on table scraps for Christmas (think of the money we’ll save!) it’s all hilariously downhill from there.

My favorite bit was the neighbor downstairs coming up three times a day – once to complain about t
Jan 06, 2016 Peacegal rated it really liked it
Shelves: humane-education
This is a wonderfully charming book with a humane message. The Victorian-era family raises a turkey for their Christmas feast, with each step of the way the penny-pinching father announcing how much money they are saving by doing it this way.

However, the turkey turns out to be noisy, messy, and often ill-tempered, and the family gets into one-laugh-out-loud situation after another as they try to shield the bird from their crabby neighbor, Mrs. Schumacher. However, in the midst of all of this, th
Brock Coles' distinct water color illustrations accompany hilarious text about a family and a turkey.

Ma sends Pa to the market to pick up 2 eggs and 1/2 lb. of flour. That's it. No more. Well, when Pa comes back he has a turkey. He insists in can live in a box next to the stove and eat table scraps. Think of the money they'll save, he says. But the turkey gets bigger and meaner. He starts to steal food from others in the house. He becomes smelly and noisy and the neighbors start to complain. Pa
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
The story takes place in 19th century New York. A rather large family is living in an apartment flat. Ma and the children are very busy with chores so Pa is sent out to buy flour and eggs. Christmas is coming up, so Ma reminds him not to spend an extra penny. But as all loyal husbands do...Pa disobeys and buys a young turkey in hopes of saving the family money. The turkey is not favored by their neighborhoods and he soon becomes costly. The family gets creative in finding a solution that pleases ...more
Nov 16, 2011 Susie rated it liked it
I requested this once I saw it was included on an SLJ Newbery prediction post. Yes, they said this was a flyer and would surprise people by its inclusion. Yup, it surprised me. The story is not that original, and I found the illustrations somewhat distracting. It is definitely a departure from The Goats, one of Cole's novels. A family struggles with providing for the family as Christmas approaches. Pa goes to the store for eggs and flour and comes back with a live turkey as well, planning to ser ...more
RLL220 Kendra
Oct 23, 2016 RLL220 Kendra rated it liked it
The Money We'll Save was an interesting book. It had me on the edge for a second. I was thrown off when he brought the turkey home. I wasn't sure if he would really kill Alfred and eat him for Christmas dinner. I think pa did a very great deed by giving him to his neighbor for Christmas. Even though they didn't have much for Christmas dinner but oatmeal and one gift per child they still managed to have a great Christmas. I think the moral of the story is to teach us and young children the value ...more
Rosa Cline
Dec 05, 2014 Rosa Cline rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, christmas
This is kind of a quirky book; but it was fun. A family is having a difficult time making ends met and Christmas was coming. The mother sends the Dad to buy a couple of eggs and some flour to make dinner with. But he comes home with a baby turkey to raise for Christmas dinner. Thinking in the long run it will save them money. The kids feed him and take care of him. He gets into all sorts of trouble being a bird and living in an apartment building. The ending of the book isn't what you think it w ...more
Jan 10, 2012 Alissa rated it really liked it
A clever Christmas story where the mother sends the father to the store to with very specific instructions. The father comes home with the things on the list and...a turkey. He keeps emphasizing the money they will save since they can use it for their Christmas dinner. We laughed at the trouble this silly turkey caused and yet the family was so attached they could not use him for their dinner. Usually children's stories are fairly predictable, but I never would have guessed this ending! Very det ...more
Mar 06, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
When Pa went to the market, no one expected him to come home with a turkey to fatten up for Christmas dinner. The chaos that ensues as this young family tries to raise a turkey in a small apartment is priceless. Many of the details come out through the illustrations instead of the actual words of the story. Will the family survive? Will they save money? Will they be able to butcher the turkey come Christmas?

Great story that emphasizes family, love, and togetherness at Christmas time, instead of
Teresa Garrett
As usual when Pa is sent to the store for the ingredients for pancakes he picks up something extra a turkey poult. He explains they will save money raising the turkey to be Christmas dinner. He doesn't take into account the fact they are living in a small three room flat and have very little money to feed another mouth. The children in the story name the turkey Alfred and all kinds of turkey problems keep cropping up.
Destinee Sutton
Jan 02, 2012 Destinee Sutton rated it liked it
I brought this out at Christmas for a reading. My four-year-old niece listened patiently, but was not into it. I could tell she was bored and not following the story. However, my seven-year-old niece liked it. She didn't laugh out loud or anything, but I think she was amused by it and picked up on the moral. This made the shortlist for SLJ's Mock Newbery blog, so I think my expectations were way too high going in.
Nov 24, 2011 Wendy rated it liked it
My reading of this suffered from my own heightened expectations--I'd somehow convinced myself this was going to be a masterpiece (and hilarious), but it isn't. (Just funny, not hilarious.) When I stepped back, I recognized that I think it's way better than most of the longer-story picture books I've read of the last few years, so. I mean, there's nothing cheesy in it at all, so that alone bumps it up above the crowd.
Oct 07, 2011 Erica rated it really liked it
Ma sends Pa out to the market to get just two things and comes home with a turkey to save some money for Christmas dinner. Pa says the turkey can live in a box next to the stove. Well, things don't seem to go as planned with the turkey living all over the small apartment and outside the apartment as well. The neighbors aren't happy about the turkey living in the apartment.

I won't give away the ending but this is a silly book with several laugh out loud opportunities.
Dec 21, 2011 Joella rated it really liked it
A family is trying to save money for Christmas. So they buy a small turkey and feed it so that it will grow to be nice and big in time for Christmas dinner. Of course even though the family doesn't like the mess and trouble that the turkey brings the kids still don't want to eat the turkey for Christmas dinner.
Jennifer Hanna
Jan 10, 2017 Jennifer Hanna rated it it was amazing
A terrific example of what a children's picture book should be. A bright and humorous celebration of the challenges in life when the real magic happens! Sadly this is the last of his brilliantly illustrated picture books still in print. Get them all before they're gone and we're left with mediocre mush all over again...
Dec 22, 2011 Allison rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Charming and humorous; I liked it, but I'm not sure I see why it's getting so much award buzz. (I should ammend that statement- I could see it for Caldecott. The illustrations are wonderful, and do a great deal to establish the setting and time period... but I'm puzzled over the Newbery buzz.)

Would make a great elementary school read-aloud, in any case!
Amy Hughes
Jan 13, 2014 Amy Hughes rated it it was amazing
The Money We'll Save is a really cute story. It discusses the journey a family goes through after they bought a live turkey. The father had bought the turkey in attempts to save money but the turkey causes more issues then expected. The father always seems to solve every dilemma the family is faced with the turkey.
Mar 29, 2012 Melinda rated it really liked it
Gorgeous illustrations back up a humorous, warm and engaging story. I got a kick out of it too, which is not the case with every children's book. (I think any modern woman who has sent her husband to the store will identify with the plot, as will anyone who has ever raised fowl - and I am both!)
Feb 16, 2012 Christine rated it really liked it
Never send Pa to the market for eggs and flour, you never know what he'll come home with. A fun and frolicsome times ensues as the family deals with Alfred's (the turkey) antics and messes leading up to Christmas Eve when it's time to serve him for dinner.
Dec 19, 2016 Melki rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidstuff, ho-ho-ho
Christmas is coming and the family is pinching pennies. But, Dad has a big idea - they'll buy a small turkey, and raise their own Christmas dinner! This might not be a bad idea . . . if they didn't live in a tenement.

Hilarity, and a whole lotta mess ensues.
Chelsea Couillard-Smith
Nov 02, 2011 Chelsea Couillard-Smith rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This has the feel of a classic Christmas story, and would make a great read aloud. The text is perfectly paced, repetitive in the right places, and engaging. I could see this one becoming an annual favorite.
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Brock Cole was born a year before the Second World War in a small town in Michigan. Because of his father's work, his family moved frequently, but he never regarded these relocations as a hardship.

"I thought of myself as something of an explorer, even though my explorations never took me very far. I had a deep and intimate acquaintance with woodlots, creeks, lakes, back streets, and alleys all ove
More about Brock Cole...

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