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'Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving
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'Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  2,011 Ratings  ·  191 Reviews
Pilkey takes that holiday staple and recasts it as a Thanksgiving tale about a bus load of school children who feel sorry for a friendly batch of turkeys and save them from the farmer's ax . . . The robust, cartoon-style art has van Goghesque sky vistas popping up from time to time and a manic energy that spills off the page."--Booklist. Full-color illustrations.

Book Detai
Paperback, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lisa Vegan
Nov 10, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vegan and vegetarian children for Thanksgiving time reading; children ages 3-8
Dav Pilkey, of Captain Underpants fame, has written this story poem so that it reads like and reminds readers of Clement Clarke Moore's The Night Before Christmas, This is one of his early books, his third book published.

This is a funny and heartfelt story of 8 children saving 8 turkeys, all ending up guests at their family’s apparently vegan Thanksgiving dinners. I appreciated that the kids were a multicultural bunch.

The poem has some hiccups but it’s still fun and enjoyable to read aloud.

Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Extremely cute and creative! My students really enjoyed this book :)
Andrea Hussey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a humorous tale about Thanksgiving, following the rhythm of the classic poem The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore. The narrative has a bit of an animal rights theme, with the children being aghast that the turkeys at the farm were going to be killed and eaten.

The narrative is entertaining to read aloud and the illustrations are cartoonish and colorful. I had no idea that Dav Pilkey had written a book like this, but our youngest said that her teachers had read it to her sev
Don't read this book if you're planning on eating turkey for Thanksgiving! Our crazy ex-children's librarian used to read this every year and I'm surprised there aren't more traumatized kids running around our town come November. lol
Sarah Adamson
A clever tale written by Dan Pilkey (author and illustrator of Captain Underpants). Warning / this is a way to put your children off eating their turkey for thanksgiving! Nice illustrations and clever words!
The lovely and talented Mrs. Alberts read this out loud to our fourth graders (and me!). Super cute.
The Tep
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's a cute parody on, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. However, when they say the girl found the axe and the farmer told her what it was for, I found this a little startling. I'm not sure I would read this to lower elementary b/c I wouldn't want to answer their questions.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humane-education
’Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving is all kinds of awesome, and every humane household should get a copy for their holiday favorites.

The story-poem is based up that universal chestnut, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas. However, instead of Santa Claus and reindeer this story focuses upon a school bus full of children and their pre-Thanksgiving field trip to visit Farmer Mack Nugget (uh-oh) and his flock of turkeys (double uh-oh). When the farmer announces his plan for the birds come Thanksgiving
Oct 16, 2013 added it
Shelves: holidays
This fiction story is about a group of children who go on a field trip to a turkey farm. They meet a farmer by the name of Mack Nuggett and the turkeys too (ex. Ollie, Stanley, Larry, Moe, Wally, Beaver, Shemp, and Groucho.) Later on, the children see the farmer has an ax and they ask him what it's for. When the farmer told them, they children got worried. The teacher and Farmer Mack Nuggett left to get some water from a well to calm the children down. The children than wonder about the turkeys ...more
Alicia Thompson
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-favorites
What books on your shelf would you bring down and push on people assuming they haven't read them and are totally missing out? This is definitely one of them in our house. This book is perfection. Funny story. Witty. Creative. A bit of dark humor. Amazing illustrations.

As alluded to in the title, the story is told in the same poetic style as Twas the Night Before Christmas. But this story is about a school trip to a farm owned by a delightful farmer Mack Nugget - who "was dressed all in denim fro
A very cute story using the Christmas classic story.

"'Twas the day before Thanksgiving and all through the trees, the fall leaves were spinning aloft in the breeze. Eight children had boarded their school bus with grins in hopes that a field trip soon would begin. They sang as they rode through autumn terrains, while visions of drumsticks danced in their brains. O'er rivers, through woods, with winding and weaves, their school bus sailed on through the new-fallen leaves. When out on the road th
Nov 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults reading to Children & Children
Before every holiday I peruse the holiday children's book selection and pick one or two out to read to my cousin's kids. I found this book and I fell in love with the colorful images that perfectly flow across the pages, to accompany the creatively written text that marches along to the same rythm as the original 'twas the night before christmas'! Short story even shorter- Kids take a field trip in a school bus to visit a turkey farm on Thanksgiving Eve. After befriending the turkeys the Childre ...more
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A fun, light-hearted Thanksgiving book most kids will love, though beware it might make some refuse the main course on Thanksgiving Day (but a great book for vegans!).

It obviously mimics the classic "Night Before Christmas" poem by Clement Moore, about a field trip to a farm where the students bond with the turkeys there, then upon realize they are intended for the dinner table, rescue them by smuggling them under their clothes. Very cute & fun to read aloud. My co-worker read it for our Tha
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing

A read this book in her library class so I checked it out and figured K would enjoy this story as much as she did. K thought it was really funny how the kids smuggled the turkeys out and the farmer didn't notice. Though he did say that he loves turkey so he isn't sure if he would bring them home as friends.
If you like story 'Twas the Night before Christmas than you will like this take on 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving and what happens when a group of
Alex Whatton
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ramanda Flannery
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, poetry
This cute little story is a twist to the classic Twas The Night Before Christmas. It is about eight school kids that go on a field trip and their bus breaks down near a farm. The kids go to the farm and the man there tells them that the turkeys are going to be dinner for Thanksgiving. One of the little girls gets so upset that the teacher and the farmer go to get her a drink of water. When they get back all the kids are calm and the turkeys are gone. The students get back on the bus with big bel ...more
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My favorite T-day book. Love the illustrations - especially when they all hear what the axe is for!

The incomparable Dav Pilkey adapts Clement Moore's classic Christmas poem to tell his wacky Thanksgiving tale. The day before Thanksgiving, eight boys and girls take a field trip to a turkey farm. They have fun playing with eight exuberant turkeys but are shocked to learn that Farmer Mack Nuggett plans to kill all the turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners. So the children decide to smuggle all the turke
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
…And my second favorite Thanksgiving story for little kids: “’Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving” by Dav Pilkey.

A class field trip to the turkey farm turns out to be more than just visit. Love happens between kids and turkeys, and THEN it becomes a sneaky rescue…

Based on everybody’s favorite, Clement Moore’s “Night Before Christmas”, the reading cadence is easy and fun. I guarantee smiles and laughs for adult readers when you get to the turkey names! (Kids won’t get it, but YOU will!) And the il
Nov 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Mike read this to Natalie this evening (the night before Thanksgiving). We both enjoyed the story. It followed the original Christmas poem well, but told its own story. We both thought it was a sweet story. I enjoyed the illustrations, especially how there seemed to be famous paintings like American Gothic and Starry Night worked into them. The only issue we had with it was that we don't intend to become vegetarians and we wouldn't want our children to get upset the next day at Thanksgiving dinn ...more
This is an adorable story that is a play off the book Twas the Night Before Christmas. It is about a class that goes on a field trip the day before Thanksgiving to a turkey farm. There they all fall in love with the turkeys and are suddenly distraught when they find out what will happen to the turkeys. On the way home from the field trip the students are a little fatter than before and may have an extra guest at the table for Thanksgiving. This is a great book for Thanksgiving to read and is a f ...more
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: children, art, holiday
Cute pictures. Fun. But *clearly the Department of Education is using public education as a tool to usurp the sanctity of this family-oriented holiday and force vegetarianism on us all.

*It's pathetic to have to spell this out, but I am being facetious in this comment. Please do not send me angry, bitter and hateful e-mails. See my review of The Very Hungry Caterpillar if you don't believe this could happen.
Caroline Petty
Oct 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: seasons-weather
This quintessential Dav Pilkey book is so funny and relevant to how children think and feel. It puts an interesting twist on the traditions of Thanksgiving. Instead of portyaying the typical warm and family oreinted image of the holiday, it blatantly discusses the fact that turkeys are animals who are killed so that we can eat them. It lightheartedly goes into the cycle of life and the food chain that occurs on a farm while still making children laugh. Every page is enagaging and the ending is t ...more
Katie Clark
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
This book is definitely one of my favorite books. The book is set to the rhythm of Twas' the night before Christmas, but instead of Christmas this book is about a group of children who take a field trip to a turkey farm on the day before Thanksgiving. At the farm the children learn about how turkey's are dressed so that people can eat them on Thanksgiving Day. This upset the children greatly so they snuck the turkeys home and invited them to Thanksgiving dinner. This is a good book to read aroun ...more
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is such a fun look at Thanksgiving through the eyes of children. Great for vegans, I still think it is fun for all kids. I love the art work in the book. The kids look so cute getting back on the bus with turkeys stuffed under their coats. The one page of the evil farmer is a little disconcerting, but my kids and grand-kids have never minded or said anything about it.I have been reading it to them for years!
This is a twist on 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. A classroom takes a field trip to a turkey farm. There they learn that turkeys are being fattened for Thanksgiving feasts. The children freak out. While the farmer is distracted, the children stuff the turkeys under their shirts and smuggle them home. It was a vegetarian Thanksgiving as the turkeys sat with the families.


I like the illustrations that accompany this.
Shelbi Bishop
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This book is a spin on "'Twas the Night Before Christmas". A group of students go to a turkey farm to learn about turkey. The farmer talks about how they will all be slain for Thanksgiving. The students get upset and hide the turkey up their shirts and sneak them home.

You could use this book to talk about the tradition of Thanksgiving and have the students write a short essay on their family's tradition.
Nov 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
We really enjoy Dav Pilkey's books. This one was no exception. Its kind of a spoof of Twas the Night Before Christmas, only with Thanksgiving turkeys.

Very cute story. My daughter (5) and I really enjoyed it. My daughter especially loved the part where the children's tummy's got very big. The rhyming was fun, I especially liked the rhyming on the final page of the book...just a nice ending.

The pictures were silly....we enjoyed them.
Meg McGregor
This is a great book for teachers as well as parents to read around Thanksgiving!

In this wonderful version of The Night Before Christmas, girls and boys go out to the farm, of Farmer McNugget, on a field trip. All is going wonderfully until they learn that the farmer is going to kill the turkeys after they leave.

The children throw fits (like only children can) and distract the Farmer and their Teacher long enough to rescue the turkeys!
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David "Dav" Pilkey (b. March 4, 1966), is a popular children's author and artist. Pilkey is best known as the author and illustrator of the Captain Underpants book series. He lives near Seattle, Washington with his wife, Sayuri.

More about Dav Pilkey...

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“Twas the day before Thanksgiving
And all through the trees,
The fall leaves were spinning
Aloft in the breeze.

Eight children had boarded
Their school bus with grins
In hopes that a field trip
Soon would begin.

They sang as they rode
Through autumn terrains,
While visions of drumsticks
Danced in their brains.”
“O’er rivers, through woods,
With winding and weaves,
Their school bus sailed on
Through the new-fallen leaves.

When out on the road
There arose such a clatter,
They threw down their windows
To see what was the matter.

When what with their wondering eyes
Should they see,
But a miniature farm
And eight tiny turkey.

And a little old man
So lively and rugged,
They knew in a moment
It was Farmer Mack Nuggett.

He was dressed all in denim
From his head to his toe,
With a pinch of polyester
And a dash of Velcro.

And then in a twinkling
They heard in the straw
The prancing and pawing
Of each little claw.

More rapid than chickens
His cockerels they came.
He whistled and shouted
And called them by name:

“Now Ollie, now Stanley, now Larry and Moe,
On Wally, on Beaver, on Shemp and Groucho!”
More quotes…