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Grandma Lena's Big Ol' Turnip (Aesop Accolades (Awards))

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  12 reviews

Grandma Lena takes good care of the turnips she plants in her garden. One turnip grows so big that Grandma can't pull it out of the ground! Even when Grandpa, Uncle Izzy, and the dog help Grandma yank and tug, the big ol' turnip doesn't budge.

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 30th 2005 by Albert Whitman & Company (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-29 of 58)
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Amanda Andrews
Book Title: Grandma Lena’s Big Ol’ Turnip by Denia Hester

Short Description of the Book: In this variation of the classic Russian folktale, Grandma Lena plants some special turnip seeds in her garden. One turnip grows especially well and Grandma Lena has to enlist the help of her entire family to get that turnip out of the ground.

FOCUS: Narrative Features I would use in a Mini-Lesson

1.) Repeated Line: Hester uses a few repeated lines within the text of her story. At various points in the story G
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Melanie
Grandma Lena spent all winter looking at turnip seed catalogs. Now it's spring and planting time. As the turnip plants grow one in particular is quite large. As Grandma Lena tries to pull it out of the ground she realizes that she needs help. She calls for Grandpa. Grandpa pulls on Grandma but the turnip won't budge. So the story continues as Grandma Lena calls on each member of the family to help out. Finally, when Grandma calls for Rascal the dog to help out (and baby Pearl helps out) the turn ...more
Samantha
A retelling of the Russian folktale "The Turnip." In this version, Grandma Lena does her research and settles on the Purple Top variety of turnip to plant in her garden. She calls on the help of her family to harvest the gigantic turnip that sprouts and turns the efforts of all their hard labor into a delicious meal.

Detailed paintings bring the garden and all of the individual members of Lena's family to life. Their facial expressions help readers get a feel for their personalities though they a
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Jenny Young
Age:
Grades K-3

Genre:
folktale

Diversity:
African-American; The South

Illustrations:
Illustrations look like they were drawn with pencil and colored with watercolors.

Personal response:
The story is adapted from a Russian folktale. I enjoyed the repetition of sentences in the book and think it would be great for younger children. I also love all of the cultural reference to Southern homestyle cooking. Grandma Lena's Big Ol' Turnip is just a fun book.

Curricular or programming connections:
This book would
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Sheniece
This book will be a good book to add to your cultural collection on your bookshelf in your classroom. The grandmother uses the turnip she planted to make some southern dishes that we all call "soul food." The dishes she make and the way in which she prepares them are similar to the way the African American culture prepare certain dishes such as corn bread muffins, turnip stew with potatoes, carrots and peas, and even turnip greens cooked in bacon and onions. It's a very enjoyable book that opens ...more
Heidi
What a shame my grandparent Book Time is already planned! I discovered this book in my pile of "rain" books. And it's a good one! It would have been a fun one to tell. And the build-on tale was not boring, either. I liked that the family worked together and that the neighborhood came together to enjoy. Maybe I can use it some other time...
Lisa
This is a good adaptation of the old folk tale. It is still a story about gardening and harvest, but family members provide all of the help instead of the family plus farm animals. The language and rhythm is fun and engaging for young audiences.
CFAITC
Sep 27, 2013 CFAITC added it
Shelves: primary
Grandma Lena grows a turnip so big that she needs help pulling it out of the ground and eating it.
Jen
Silly. Repetitive. Slightly long, nice for older kids storytime.
Mandy Hoffman
A fun story about a woman who grows a huge turnip.
Wanda
funny, great illustrations
Misha
Great read-aloud.
Tara
Tara marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2014
Ann Su
Ann Su added it
Jun 06, 2014
Sativa
Sativa added it
Jan 16, 2014
Maryanne Green
Maryanne Green marked it as to-read
May 25, 2013
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