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Over the River and Through the Wood
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Over the River and Through the Wood

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  509 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
Matt Tavares's lavish illustrations illuminate this definitive edition of a beloved seasonal classic.

The horse is ready, the air is bracing, and everyone is bundled into the sleigh. So let the wind blow and the snow start to fall! This family is off to Grandfather's house for a delicious feast. Matt Tavares, with his keen eye for detail, fresh and surprising perspectives,
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Candlewick Press (first published 1844)
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(showing 1-30)
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While I love and will always love Lydia Maria Child's evocative poem, I rather despise this particular edition, simply because David Catrow's illustrations are absolutely not to my taste. I find them visually annoying, frenetic, grating, and while they might, indeed, be considered a modern spoof, a modern take, they do not at all mesh with the text, with the peaceful country imagery that is the narrative. The delicate and sweet cadence of Child's poem, the sense of family togetherness and antici ...more
I LOVE this poem, never get tired of it. To me, it captures the spirit of my Thanksgivings as a child--even if we went to Grandma's house in a car instead of a sleigh! ;-) The woodblock illustrations by Christopher Manson enhance the ambiance of the poem and lend a cozy, historic New England feel.
Sep 14, 2011 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Over the River and Through the Wood, illustrated by Matt Tavares.

I enjoyed this version of the dear Thanksgiving poem by Lydia Maria Child and illustrated by Matt Tavares. This version retains Child's original wording so it may be a bit different that the one that is familiar to many of us. I was very glad to read "the original" though I admit it was a bit jarring at times when the words on the page didn't match those flowing through my memory. A brief biographical note about Child is also welc
Don't read the Catrow version if you don't have a sense of humor ... In this version, the family is heading for Grandmother's house but Baby has quite the adventure getting there...the illustrations tell a much wilder (unsafe) version of the "story"/song than the lyrics.
Margaret Chind
Hmm... my mind is split on where to start sharing my thoughts. When I was a child it was the Chipmunks' Christmas Album version of this song I sang again and again. In some of our poetry books (I think it was Gyo Fujikawa) I noticed this poem text. I never knew it was a Thanksgiving journey and NOT Christmas! Through the book list for Memoria Press ( I think it is 3rd grade, maybe 2nd) the older picture book version from NorthSouth illustrated by Christopher Manson in wood cuts was discovered to ...more
Nov 03, 2011 David rated it it was amazing
Over the River and Through the Wood: The New England Boy's Song about Thanksgiving Day by Lydia Maria Francis Child, illustrated by Matt Tavares beautifully illustrates the classic verse of a trip by sleigh to grandmother's house.

The original text is typset in Hadfield. The large font makes it easy to read aloud. The note about the author gives excellent details.

The detailed illustrations are done in watercolor, gouache and pencil.
The double page spreads really carry this verse along. Taveres u
Nov 25, 2015 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Leave it to David Catrow to put such an unusual spin on this Thanksgiving classic.

This book was featured as one of the selections for the November 2015: Thanksgiving discussion for the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
A humorously illustrated version of a beloved poem. I'm a big fan of David Catrow and his use of colors. Unfortunately, our library copy had been enforced in such a way that the pages did not open all the way, and often there was no way to see what was in the center of the picture spreads, diminishing our enjoyment of them somewhat.
Nov 06, 2010 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a lovely and spirited song about Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. We have a CD recording of this song and our girls know the song by heart. The lovely woodcut illustrations by Christopher Manson are just old-fashioned enough and rustic enough to perfectly complement the words. We really enjoyed reading this book together.
Given to me by a dear friend. It is a Thanksgiving poem. I sang it and Holland kept looking at me. I do wonder what she was thinking. Love the vintage looking illustrations! I don't think I had ever read or heard the entire poem. It is darling and a new Thanksgiving tradition. The music for the traditional song is on the back page.
May 19, 2012 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess I must have a wacky sense of humor, because I love this book and have my own personal copy (with the David Catrow illustrations). I like the disconnect between the lyrics of the song about a nice holiday ride and the baby's wild adventures and think they are hilarious. And I like Catrow's over-exaggerated caricatures of the people, animals, and objects.
Nov 02, 2015 SamZ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Illustrations by David Catrow: I still enjoy the original poem, but these pictures just weren't my thing.
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
I picked this up thinking it was a Christmas story but it turns out to be a Thanksgiving song. Very cute verses and old school illustrations add charm.
Nicely done verison of the 1844 poem. Two page spread illustrations alternate between the family on their journey to the grandparents house and the grandparents making the Thanksgiving dinner.
Mattie Troyer
Dec 05, 2016 Mattie Troyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So many memories brought back after reading this book! I forgot that this was a jingle anomy brother and I use to sing it when we were younger and would travel to my grandparents house. I almost liked the book better then just chanting the song because the pictures are so entertaining. While the words in the book are simple and easy to follow, there is so much going on in the illustrations that it almost tells another story while you read! I love books like that and enjoyed reading this one for ...more
Feb 12, 2017 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book for its illustrations more than anything. The text is obviously is recognizable, but the David Catrow illustrations are such a treat that it's hard not to love the book just for that. It's wonderful, and I've used numerous times over the years for everything from holiday reading to poetry lessons.
Matthew Hunter
A humorous idea - pair a gentle, classic holiday poem with frantic, action-packed illustrations - that coaxed no laughter from the Hunter clan. I found it unnecessary. What did Child do to deserve such treatment, anyway?
The illustrations are very silly and might be fun for older children. I liked them, but wished they followed the text more closely. Cool that the illustrator is from my hometown!
Nov 28, 2016 LoriAnn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thanksgiving
A traditional Thanksgiving tale told in lovely illustrations to the words of the extended verses to the well-known holiday song.
Dec 15, 2016 Danette rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A fun celebration of family and Thanksgiving.

Growing up, I have fond memories of traveling to my grandparents' house in Manti, Utah, and of singing "Over the River and Through the Woods" with my family as we neared the old house at Thanksgiving time. When I found this book at our local library, I couldn't wait to share the old song with my children, especially since the words have become a bit foggy all these years later. I had no idea the original poem had so many verses! Originally published in 1844 in one of her poetry books as "A New-E ...more
I do like the pictures in this one. Very lovely and just adds to the song that I loved singing when I was younger. Somehow as a child I never got that this was a Thanksgiving song. We didn't sing all the verses, so that could be a reason. And the fact that we always sang it at that time of year just didn't register. (Nor did hearing it on the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving movie every year.) Oh well.

This one is good for toddler, considering the breaks in the text.

11/9/10 Went well with toddler. Th
Nov 23, 2016 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: songs
1. No awards
2. First grade
3. In this illustrated version of the classic song, the family heads off to grandfather's house for Thanksgiving dinner. The illustrations modernize the song, showing the family travelling by car for instance, but preserve the lyrics by, in a related example, showing people riding in horse-drawn sleighs for fun.
4. You can't go wrong with a classic. The illustrations fit the song well, while managing to modernize it as well. I was singing along as I was reading, because
Carmen Nibali
“Over the river and through the woods” is a classic seasonal poem. This is one of my favorite poems and still remember it word for word. In this book the pages are illustrated with a horse pulling a sleigh with the family all bundled up. The family is off to their grandfather’s house for a thanksgiving feast. On each page there is a lot of fresh details. This book is intended for ages two and up. This classic is intended for children for every age. There's two different illustration of this book ...more
Dec 01, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
My five year old daughter, Penelope, LOVES this book and we have checked it out from the library the last few years at the holidays. It’s a good Thanksgiving and Christmas book. Penelope and I love to sing the book as I remember singing this song in music class long ago when I was a child. I didn’t know then that it was originally a poem written by Lydia Marie Child in the 19th century. Penelope loves the beautiful illustrations by Matt Tavares, including a story behind the story when a hat is l ...more
Margaret Chind
t's nice and interesting to look at (and is an awesome size 6x7).

Own board book with illustrations by Christopher Manson (1993). Also own midi picture book illustrated by Matt Tavares (2013).

Over the River and Through the Wood A Thanksgiving Poem by Lydia Maria Francis Child Over the River and Through the Wood The New England Boy's Song About Thanksgiving Day by Lydia Maria Francis Child
Jane G Meyer
Mar 02, 2011 Jane G Meyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Such a fun Thanksgiving Day book for children. This edition (Harper Collins 1993), with illustrations by Nadine Bernard Westcott, has just the right feel and flavor. While the family is driving to grandfather's house, the grandparents are busy preparing the Thanksgiving meal in their home. There are little peeks of humor on every page, and all the trimmings, from the snow and the ice skating, to the pumpkin pie and the turkey are there to remind a child of all the pleasures that surround that ti ...more
Jan 03, 2010 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Catrow takes a Thanksgiving classic for a wild ride! The long and stressful holiday road trip to a distant relative's home, with the car stuffed full of siblings, pets, and food, is a universal experience. In this whimsical picture book, the baby of the family escapes into a joyful, snowy Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, where characters, floats and balloons take on a life of their own.

The lively and imaginative scenes keep the pace of rhythm of the text, and Catrow's cool midseason tones
Katiee Rideout
This is a great, funny, book for young children to read or it to be read to them. It rhymes almost perfectly and talks about traveling for thanksgiving, which I'm sure a lot of families have to do. It follows a great scheme, and can even be sung to children. I really enjoyed this book.
Dec 10, 2008 Relyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a string of Thanksgiving books that I read to my daughter and my second graders. These will be quick reviews based on the reactions of my daughter and students. I put the date the same for each book, but I really read them in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, and on Thanksgiving Day. Under the how many times I've read it category, that will be how many Thanksgivings I've used this book.

I love the style of David Catrow's art, but sometimes he's a little crude. This is funny to the kids
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Lydia Maria Child (1802--1880) was an activist and writer of novels, pamphlets, and works for children. She often used her writing to advocate for slaves, women, and Native Americans. Lydia Maria Child was born in Medford, Massachusetts, where her grandfather’s house, which she celebrates in her poem, still stands.
More about Lydia Maria Francis Child...

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