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Over the River & Through the Wood by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Kim Smith

Source: Sterling Children’s Books
Hardcover, 32 pgs.
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Over the River & Through the Wood by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Kim Smith, is a modern story of the Thanksgiving trip to grandmother’s house over the river and through the woods.  Rather than merely travel by sleigh, these family members take cars that run out of gas, trains to cities to find rental cars are all gone, and other modes of transportation when grandmother invites them over for dinner.

The way is paved with snow and these families are eagerly picked up by a horse and sleigh. Even the families are updated from the traditional mother and father with two kids to include not only mixed race families, but also a gay couple with children.  It was a lovely, inclusive touch.  What was a little disappointing was the text, as it didn’t rhyme as well as younger readers would expect.  They are unaware of slant rhyme and for little readers it could be hard to modify a word to make the rhyme work.

Over the River & Through the Wood by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Kim Smith, is a cute book about what it means to spend time together as a family, even with your extended family.  It’s especially wonderful when you not only have memories to share over the holidays, but when you come from different places and backgrounds.

  • Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)

    Looks like a good story, and glad the rhyming issue didn’t ruin it for you.

  • bermudaonion(Kathy)

    It’s too bad the text didn’t match up with everything else. It sounds like the book had a lot of potential.

    • I think the rhyme was a minor issue since the story reflects the modern world a little more, and it has a great message.