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Over the River and Through the Wood by Lydia…
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Over the River and Through the Wood

by Lydia Maria Child

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David Catrow, the illustrator of my edition, starts the trip to Grandmother's house in modern-day New York where the family gets caught up in a big parade. There the adventure begins, especially for Baby. It is the riotous illustrations that grab me about the presentation of this traditional Thanksgiving song. I would read/sing this with Pre-K through Grade 3 children during the Thanksgiving or winter holiday season, spending lots of time discussing the funny things happening in the illustrations, then invite them to draw or paint what they would wish to happen on the way to their relatives' houses. ( )
  MargaretYatsevitch | Sep 8, 2013 |
Over the River and Through the Wood, illustrated by Matt Tavares.

"Over the river, and through the wood, / To Grandfather's house we go; / The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh / through the white and drifted snow." And so begins this classic Thanksgiving poem, which first saw print in 1844, in Lydia Maria Child's three-volume anthology for young readers, Flowers for Children. It's a well-known and well-loved poem and song, although I've recently discovered (to my surprise) that some people think it is a Christmas poem. Apparently, it is not so uncommon to substitute "Christmas Day" for "Thanksgiving Day," in the reciting/singing! In any case, as well known as Child's poem may be, what is less well known is that there are two versions of it: the original twelve-verse version, published in 1844, and the abridged six-verse version, included in John Greenleaf Whittier's 1871 Child Life: A Collection of Poems. It is this latter version which seems to be the better known, making the publication of this lovely picture-book presentation of the full twelve-verse original, earlier this year, very welcome indeed!

With one verse per two-page spread, and gorgeous watercolor, gouache and pencil illustrations, this edition from Candlewick Press has immense textual and artistic appeal. I'd never actually read the complete poem before, and was thrilled to see "new" verses, like: "Over the river, and through the wood- / Old Jowler hears our bells; / He shakes his paw with a loud bow-wow, / and thus the news he tells." The artwork by Matt Tavares is lovely, with a painterly quality that is very different from the woodcut illustrations done by Christopher Manson for Over the River and Through the Wood: A Thanksgiving Poem (which I have also read and enjoyed). I loved the sense of light in these pictures, and the warmth of the indoor scenes, after the long cold sleigh ride! This is just a wonderful presentation of this classic holiday poem - available in its entirety for young readers! - and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good picture-book version, or for the original text.

Note: The edition illustrated by Brinton Turkle, Over the River and Through the Wood, also contains the full text. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 25, 2013 |
Over the River and Through the Wood, illustrated by Brinton Turkle.

First published in 1974, this picture-book edition of Lydia Maria Child's classic Thanksgiving poem is illustrated by Brinton Turkle, and contains the original, twelve-verse version from 1844, rather than the six-verse version (which first appeared in 1871) that seems to be better known these days. Alternating between two-page color paintings, that depict the young narrator (a New England boy) and his family on their sleigh-ride to grandfather's house for Thanksgiving dinner, and black and white single-page illustrations - with text on the facing page - which show the preparations going forward in anticipation of their arrival, the book has a distinctively vintage sensibility and charm, and is immensely appealing. The two-page vistas open up entire worlds to the reader, and are simply lovely. I'm so glad that I gave this third presentation of the poem a chance - I have already read both the Christopher Manson version, Over the River and Through the Wood: A Thanksgiving Poem, and the newer Matt Tavares edition, Over the River and Through the Wood: The New England Boy's Song about Thanksgiving Day this season - when I spotted it at the public library this past weekend, as it really is a beauty! Recommended to anyone looking for a picture-book with the full original text of Over the River and Through the Wood, or who appreciates picture-book illustrations with a cozy, old-fashioned feeling to them.

Note: the Matt Tavares version also contains the full twelve-verse version of the poem, whereas the Christopher Mansion edition contains the six-verse version from 1871. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 25, 2013 |
Over the River and Through the Wood, illustrated by Christopher Manson.

Lydia Maria Child's now-famous Thanksgiving poem, Over the River and Through the Wood, which follows an excited young New England boy and his family, as they make their way to the home of the boy's grandparents for their Thanksgiving celebration, first saw print in 1844, as part of the second volume of her three-book anthology for young readers, Flowers for Children. It originally contained twelve verses, but was shortened to six when collected in John Greenleaf Whittier's 1871 Child Life: A Collection of Poems, and it is this version - the abridged one - that seems to be best known today. It is, as the brief foreword mentions, the version presented here, in this edition illustrated by Christopher Manson.

Offering a lovely, traditional interpretation of the poem, this picture-book presents a few lines per page, and pairs the well-known text with beautiful woodcut illustrations, filled in with watercolor. The result is a work with a distinctive folk-art sensibility - I love woodcuts, and Manson's are immensely appealing! - that feels very appropriate for its wintry New England setting. The decorative endpapers, with their "basket of plenty" motif, are a nice touch, as is the inclusion, at the rear of the book, of the musical score for the singing of the poem/song. Recommended to anyone looking for a beautifully-illustrated presentation of this poem, as it has been recited and sung for the last one hundred years or so. For those looking for the complete original text (from 1844), I recommend either the new picture-book edition, just published this year (2011), with artwork by Matt Tavares: Over the River and Through the Wood: The New England Boy's Song about Thanksgiving Day, or the vintage picture-book presentation from 1974, with illustrations by Brinton Turkle: Over the River and Through the Wood. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 25, 2013 |
Matt Tavares creates a lovely wintry New England Thanksgiving, old-fashioned in a Currier & Ives kind of way. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Over the river, and through the wood, to grandfather's house we go; the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh, through the white and drifted snow.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 059041190X, Paperback)

A new illustrated version of this classic song, complete with full lyrics and musical notation. A family glides over the snow and through the countryside in a horse drawn sleigh, to visit their grandparents' house for Christmas.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:22 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Scenes from rural New England illustrate this familiar poem, that became a well-known song, about a Thanksgiving Day visit to Grandmother's house.

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