Written and illustrated by
G. P. Putnam's Sons
In a rollicking,
cumulative tale, a badger family and their friends–Hedgie, Mr. Ram
and Vanya, the horse–struggle to pull up a giant turnip. A cocky
rooster steps in and pulls, sending him into the air, holding onto
the turnip. No one knows that a mother bear in her underground den
has kicked the turnip up through the soil to give the family room to
sleep through the winter.
Once again Jan Brett brings an original twist to a
favorite folktale. Snow covers the farm in rural Russia as badgers
and friends in old-fashioned clothes, and bears marching through
bright-colored borders, send young readers laughing from page to
In 2011, my husband, Joe, and I traveled to Russia. We were
driving by a rural farm one day when I was reminded of a gift from a
friend. It was a simple carved wooden toy of three people and
a bear struggling to pull up a large turnip. The idea of
finding a giant turnip really tickled my fancy, and I couldn't stop
thinking about it.
How could I make my story different from the old
Russian tale? I decided to use animal characters. I
modeled the badger family after the European badger, with its
striking coat and mischievous expression. They were the first
to tackle the giant turnip. Other animals would try, but it
was the bear in the carved toy that gave me the surprise twist for
getting the turnip out of the ground.
As I started to write, I had one last thought.
Would readers believe a turnip could be as big as I wanted to make
it? I knew someone who grew large pumpkins. Some were
over nine hundred pounds. "It could happen," I said to myself.
to Hedgie's Book a matic