Wintry new illustrations recall the forgotten landscape of Child's traditional Thanksgiving travel song.
A horse-drawn sleigh carries a boy, his parents and sister through his New England hometown. They pass a toy store, cross over a frozen river where townspeople skate and travel through a gentle snowfall into the countryside to his grandparents’ home, where cousins play snowball and grandmother waits with pie. Each verse is set on a full-bleed, double-page painting done in watercolor, ink and pencil, sentimental evocations of the early 19th century. Tavares (Henry Aaron's Dream, 2010, etc.) shows the original farmhouse Child would have visited rather than the much enlarged version to be seen in Medford, Mass., today. Careful readers will enjoy tiny details in the illustrations. Early on, the boy's cap blows off. The dog captures it and trots alongside, only dropping it after their safe arrival. From broad landscapes to family close-ups, the illustrator varies his subjects and perspectives. The sleigh moves steadily forward until it arrives, turns and stops. The page turn reveals the extended family at dinner. Readers who think they know the song will be surprised to see unfamiliar verses; not all of them scan well as the familiar ones, but they also extend the story.A note about the author and her poem concludes this celebration, an ideal grandparent gift. (Picture book. 3-6)