Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving?
It’s a question Naperville resident Nick Scarpino explores in his new children’s book with that very title.
“There’s been many influences over the years. People like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Ben Franklin all have contributed to our tradition of eating turkey on Thanksgiving,” said Scarpino. “And the book stars a character named Hurkey which my grandmother invented about 20 years ago.”
While Scarpino was in charge of rhyming, his 86-year-old artist grandmother, Marlene Turner, brought the story to life with her drawings.
The grandmother-grandson duo worked on the book for around four months, doing so virtually as turner lives in Iowa.
“This was at about the time of the pandemic so it was a useful way to spend the time and have something to pass on to my grandchildren,” said Turner.
Hurkey the Turkey has been a beloved character to her grandchildren, and he now guides other kids through the history of thanksgiving.
This holiday the two are also giving back. All the money from book sales is donated to the non-profit, No Kid Hungry.
Since it was published in July, they’ve been able to raise $2,500.
The pair was already close, and enjoyed the experience of working together on this project.
“We found a company that would make custom stuffed animals,” said Scarpino. “So as a way to cement this partnership forever we have stuffed versions of Hurkey each so he’s pretty cool.”
Why Do We Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving? can be found on Amazon, Walmart, and other digital retailers.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.