Meet Corky. Suitable for framing.

My first Sarah Gives Thanks public appearance is on October 28 at 2 pm at Well Read, a charming, independent bookstore in Hawthorne, New Jersey.

I figured it wouldn’t be much work; I’d talk a little about Sarah Hale and Thanksgiving and then I’d read the book and sign copies.

But, Bill, the owner of the place, wanted more.

“You have a craft?” he asked.

“I’m sorry, a what?”

“It’s easier to get kids in the store when you also offer a craft.” Then he added – I assume to be helpful – “You know, something crafty.”


Now, I am not a crafter. My skills don’t go very far beyond writing and doodling. But, lately, I also find myself becoming more and more skilled in the art of lying. So I assured Bill that I did have a craft. “A good one,” I said with a confident nod.

And then I floundered around for the next couple of weeks trying to think of something.

What I came up with was this guy at the top of my post. Meet Corky the Turkey. He needs your crayon skills. Coloring is the first part of the craft.

You may have noticed that Corky does not have any tail feathers. Well, fear not. I cut a bunch of tail feathers out of orange and yellow construction paper. Each child takes a handful of these feathers and writes something that he or she is thankful for on each one. Then the feathers are glued onto Corky’s butt. And that’s the second part of the craft.

Now Corky can shake a tail feather.

Ta Daaa! Just call me crafty.

I know, I know. It is a far, far cry from what can be found at the incredible pillows a-la-mode and mywithershins. But it certainly beats tracing your hand and sticking a beak on the thumb.

So, onward!


On another note, The BCCBA Acronym Contest is almost over! Don’t forget to submit your entry by October 31 for a chance to win a free, signed copy of Sarah Gives Thanks!

62 Replies to “Craftastic!”

  1. I’m sure your craft will be well-received, Mike. I can’t imagine having to come up with a craft. I lack crafting skills, and if Crafting 101 is where others might begin, I would be at Crafting 83 1/2.

    Sarah Gives Thanks will blow them away… as it should. ; )

  2. LOVE the craft, Mike. Especially the part with the feathers: brilliant! I’m thinking about the acronym, but nothing’s coming. Still working on it – can you smell the rubber burning where you are? xoM

  3. Maybe you should offer some feathers pre-printed with the words: I’m grateful that someone I love bought me my own autographed copy of “Sarah Gives Thanks.” Just saying’

    Totally stuck on the acronym… not my strong suit!

      1. Oh please – focus on Sarah and we’ll tackle that other silliness down the road. Good luck with your reading tomorrow!

  4. I think this is great, Mike. It’s like a pin the tail on the turkey sort of thing, except… different. And it’s way better than the usual hand turkeys. Those are pretty played out. And I don’t envy you having to choose a winner for the acronym contest. There are some hilariously perfect entries.

    1. Thanks, Weebles!

      The acronym contest has some amazing entries, that for sure. I won’t be alone in deciding the winner, however; I am recruiting a couple of communications professionals to serve as judges. ‘Cause it’s IMPORTANT, dagnabbit!

  5. That’s a great craft idea, the kids and their parents will love it. Good luck on your first public appearance, I’m looking forward to hearing about it. Next stop: the Today Show! 🙂

  6. I used to work at a bookstore in San Francisco that had a packed schedule of readings. Brian Jaques (Redwall series) came in a gave a full-on performance, not a reading. He must have been an actor in another life. Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) played the banjo, Brian Greene (the physicist) gave a slide show, etc. It’s not enough just to write a good book these days. I’m impressed with your craftiness–and your ability to come up with a “yes” when it could so easily have gone the other way.

    1. Hooray! You’re back!

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Jilanne. To be quite honest, I didn’t even think twice about saying “yes,” to the bookstore guy. I’ve been around long enough to know that, when it comes to creative projects, I can usually pull off something. It might not be a GOOD something, but it’ll be something. (One day I hope someone will give me a hunk of butter and ask me to sculpt it.)

      By the way, your anecdote about the SF bookstore dazzles me. I had no idea that Snicket could play the banjo! Is there nothing that guy can’t do?

      1. Now that I think about it, Handler actually played the accordion. I’m trying to recall who played the banjo…Better watch out. I’ll send you a hunk of butter.

  7. No worries in the crafty department, Mike. I think Pillows and I are wearing off on you! lol

    The kids will love coloring Corky and adding tail feathers with their thankfulness printed on them. It really is a brilliant idea! 🙂

    As for the Acronym, perhaps the slogan could be ‘Support BABBLE for our Children” (Buying Actors’ Books Begets Less Education). I know, it’s pretty lame. I’ll keep thinking. 🙂

  8. There’s another meaning for crafty and you’re it 😉 I could never pull that off or think of the cool craft afterwards. That is going to be so much fun!

      1. Well, you are sharp. And that poem put a big smile on my face.

        And speaking of turkey vids, if you check out my Facebook page you will find video of a news reporter being menaced by a wild turkey. I’ve watched the thing about a dozen times and I still laugh when the poor woman breaks into a panicked run. You will too.

  9. My kids saw your post and immediately wanted to stick feathers on Corky’s butt (as long as they cut out all the construction paper and don’t glue anything to the cat, I have no objections).

    So you at least two genuine kids approve your craft. And, it must be said, wanted to read your book again. Bonus!

    1. That’s great! And considering that I’m holding my reading on the eve of a hurricane, your kids may be the only ones to do the craft for a while.

      If you want, send me a picture of their coloring/butt feather work. I’ll post it.

  10. Love it, yes, reading is no longer enough, bring on the crafts and let them take home a ‘created masterpiece’!
    Well done, Mike, indeed you are now ready to gather all those witty crafts (can’t use the same one for every appearance, LOL) for another book 😉

  11. It sounds like a good craft! My kids would have loved it. Too bad we’re not New Jersey-ites. If you ever make it to Kentucky…I will totally come to your signing. 🙂

  12. Oh that’s hilarious. I would have been like “waaaat?” *look of horror*
    I like your idea though, good save.

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