Catrow (illustrator of Kathryn Lasky's She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!, 1995) provides a pictorially updated...

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OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOOD

Catrow (illustrator of Kathryn Lasky's She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!, 1995) provides a pictorially updated interpretation of the journey to the grandparents' house made famous by Child's song. Instead of the sleigh, the family tools off in a minivan from which the baby soon escapes into the chaos of the Thanksgiving Day parade. She gets bumped off a horse (""As over the ground we go""), lands in a tuba, gets blatted out into the hands of an organ grinder's ape, and attaches herself to a giant runaway alligator balloon, parachuting down to the grandparents' just as her family rolls in. It is a madcap pilgrimage, and Catrow's illustrations are a whirl of incident and amusing detail, but the deliberate contrast between old-fashioned lyrics and contemporary scenes never really takes hold, making it more confusing than funny. Preschoolers will find the pictures hard to read--the baby is difficult to find--and her misadventures will alarm more literal-minded toddlers.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 1558589597

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996