OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOOD by Emma Randall

OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOOD

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Age Range: 3 - 6
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The traditional song about a sleigh ride to Grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner is interpreted with a snowy setting in the mountains.

As the story opens, a brother and sister duo is ready to set off in their red, horse-drawn sleigh, with their parents preparing to follow in their own purple sleigh. As the children journey though “white and drifted snow,” they cross over a river and along the way meet a rabbit, beavers, moose, foxes, and a wolf who follow them to Grandmother’s farm. The boy and girl are welcomed by Grandmother and her companion, a man with a curly, white beard, who might be their grandfather or a friend or maybe even Santa, considering his dark red hat with white trim. The conclusion finds all the characters, including the friendly animals, joining together for an outdoor Thanksgiving feast. Bright, vibrant illustrations convey a cheery tone with smiling characters and cooperative animals joining in the festive celebration. The text can be read as a story or sung to the familiar tune, though musical notation is not included. There is no indication that the words to the now-traditional song are from a poem written by Lydia Maria Child in 1844. Children, parents, and Grandmother all have light-brown skin and straight, dark hair, while Grandmother’s companion has pale skin.

This jaunty, optimistic interpretation of the nostalgic Thanksgiving song will be useful in library holiday collections as well as for family celebrations. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-515-15765-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Penguin Workshop
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2018




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