Written & Illustrated By Jan Brett
Jan Brett has been a household name in children’s literature for the last several decades. Known for her beautiful, vibrant illustrations of humans and human-like animals, and her preference for rural, winter settings, Brett’s repertoire consists of titles like The Mitten and Gingerbread Baby. Most recently added to the collection, however, is The Turnip, Brett’s own twist on the Russian folktale, which chronicles the various trials and errors of a family attempting to uproot an enormous turnip.
In her rendition of this European tale, Brett employs a family of badgers to depict the Russian family who discovers a humongous turnip growing in their yard. This enchantingly charming story will have children giggling at the absurdity of the mammoth vegetable and the incredible lengths the badgers and friends go to in order to dislodge it. They’ll also delight in the surprise near the end, seeing as it is always exciting to know a secret the characters themselves are not privy to.
As always, Brett’s distinct illustrations fill the spreads from corner to corner with rich, lively winter scenes. The vivid colors and incredible detail bring her characters to life. Audiences of any age can spend countless minutes taking in the images that fill any one of Brett’s books, and this one is no different. Especially captivating are the ever-present side panels providing readers with a glimpse into pages and scenes that have yet to come.
Both in illustration and narration, The Turnip, like Jan Brett’s previous stories, is simply captivating.