On the eve of All Hallow’s Eve means that Thanksgiving can’t be too far behind. One of my favorite pre-Turkey Day memories comes from hunkering down to watch (of course) “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on TV. Before my favorite part when Snoopy and Woodstock sit down to their own feast (natch), the Peanuts gang piles into the family station wagon and heads out to Grandma’s house singing, “Over the River and Through the Woods.” It always made me laugh to hear their voices practically tripping over each other; never mind how out of synch they sounded, their cacophony created its own special harmony…much like family life. That’s the same feeling I got from reading the new picture book by the same name as the popular sing-along. Paying homage to the time-honored tradition of holiday travel, Over the River & Through the Wood captures the frenzy of families who hop trains, board planes and boats–even a hot air balloon!–to make it to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Despite their different modes of transportation, their goal is universal: getting there on time. Lush illustrations carry readers along for these journeys, offering a safe, comfortable vantage point for all the action. Nevertheless, as these families encounter troubles along the way that threaten to jeopardize their arrival, they are ultimately brought together via an old-fashioned mode of transport–a horse-drawn sleigh–that guarantees a happy ending. And that’s definitely the makings of a wonderful holiday.
In a Nutshell: A treat that helps savor the season, this delightful story celebrates the simple joy of being together, no matter what it takes to get you there.