Over the River: A Turkey's Tale Reviews

Over the River: A Turkey's Tale is available
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From School Library Journal
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 Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.


From Booklist
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. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


From Kirkus Reviews
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. All ages) Copyright ©2005 Kirkus Reviews


From Tribune-Review (Pittsburgh)
You talk about taking a familiar tune and giving it a clever new twist. In Derek Anderson's rendition of this well-known song, the family that is traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house is a family of turkeys, each and every one of them dolled up for a day of pleasantries, though the trek is anything but easy. An old gray horse knows the way through the snowy woods, but a young hunter with an amiable hound dog in tow has other plans, making the adventure of the gobblers anything but routine. All's well that ends well, as they say, with Derek Anderson's colorful acrylics garnering high grades for their imagination. -Nicholas A. Basbanes


From Pioneer Press (St. Paul)
Minneapolis illustrator Derek Anderson uses the lyrics of a popular Thanksgiving song as the text for his new kids' picture book, "Over the River: A Turkey's Tale" (Simon & Schuster, $14.95). But his version offers a hilarious twist on the traditional tune: The protagonists are turkeys. On its way through the woods to grandmother's house, the turkey family meets a boy with a rifle and a dog set on bagging a bird for the holiday dinner. Anderson, who won acclaim for his children's series "Little Quack," has an eye for humor. The young turkey clutches a pilgrim doll and a horse literally picks up and carries his sled "through the white and drifted snow." All ends charmingly well, thanks to a collision involving hunter and prey, the horse on his sled and a pumpkin pie. Everyone shares a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner with dog biscuits. Lyrics and music are printed on the end pages for those who want to sing along. - Maja Beckstrom