Reviews for Over The River : A Turkey's Tale

Booklist Reviews 2005 September #2
PreS-K^B. Here's a turkey's take on Lydia Maria Child's old song about traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house. Little Tom Turkey, clutching his Pilgrim doll, sets out with his mom and dad on Thanksgiving. The subsequent action follows the song, but with several added twists and turns. As the words to the familiar song loop across the pages, the pictures tell a story of their own, making it clear that the boy and his large, toothsome hound that appear in the wood are intent on having turkey for dinner. Anderson's eye-popping acrylic pictures, big and vibrant enough for group sharing, give immediacy to the ensuing chase, which resolves itself in a dramatic pileup with a friendly Thanksgiving feast with dog biscuits and vegetables, not turkey, on the menu. The music is on the endpapers, handy for a sing- or play-along. ((Reviewed September 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
The playful illustrations of Lydia Maria Child's familiar lyrics feature a cartoon turkey family who reverses traditional Thanksgiving roles as they go to Grandmother Turkey's house for dinner. Enroute, a horse carrying a sled crashes into a threatening dog, and all the animals resolve into a happy group around Grandmother's table. Though sometimes forced, the conceit is amusing. Music is included. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2005 September #2
Anderson keeps most of the classic Thanksgiving song's lyrics, but puts a decided twist on its customary scenario. Here, a family of turkeys in 19th-century dress (the little one clutching a Pilgrim doll) set out for Grandma's-only to run into a turkey-hunting lad and dog. A wild chase ensues, culminating in a face-off that ends with the precipitate arrival of the horse on the sleigh-actually a sled, but why be picky. Picking themselves up, the chastened animals all repair to Grandma's for a Thanksgiving feast of the vegetarian sort. The boy is left out in the woods, which seems mean-spirited, but young readers will be so captivated by the fracas in Anderson's big, exuberant cartoons, they might not even notice. Musical arrangement, with full lyrics, on the endpapers. (Picture book. 6-8) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 September #4

A top-hatted father turkey, his bonnet-wearing wife and their bespectacled chick, clutching a pilgrim doll, set out for Grandmother's house in Anderson's (Little Quack ) rendition of Child's song. The feathered family meets a horse who literally "carr[ies] the sleigh" up a snowy hill while they stick to the road and encounter a predatory dog. The expressions on the fleeing fowls are priceless, as are other comical touches, but the hound's change of heart seems sudden, so that the final scene of turkeys, hound and horse sharing a bounteous meal, sounds a false note. All ages. (Oct.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2005 October

PreS-Gr 3 -Anderson's amusing acrylic artwork provides a new twist on a favorite holiday song. The book contains the familiar lyrics, but the illustrations show that in this version, it's a turkey family on the way to Grandma's house. As a young bird carrying a Pilgrim doll and his parents walk through the snowy woods, they meet a horse that "knows the way/to carry the sleigh" and does so-literally, trotting up a hill with a sled tucked under one arm. Meanwhile, a young hunter and a barely ferocious-looking hound are going over their plan to catch a gobbler for dinner. They give chase as the birds come into view, but an odd scarecrow (the turkeys in disguise) temporarily stops the pursuers in their tracks. Then the horse screeches downhill on the sled right into the middle of everything, and the pie is ruined. But, this is Thanksgiving, after all, and everyone sits down for a nice meal-except for the boy, who is still outside hunting down his hunting hound. This is a fun, humorous addition to Thanksgiving collections. Children will enjoy looking at the entertaining illustrations and comparing the chaos pictured there to the words of the old song. The lyrics and music are included on the endpapers.-Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA

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