Over the River and Through the Wood
Lydia Maria Child ~ Brinton Turkle
Coward, McCann & Geoghegan ~ 1974
I did have a small handful of Thanksgiving books I wanted to talk about last week, but life got the best of me. I'll hold the bulk for next year, but there was one in particular I thought fitting to move ahead with. When I was little, we didn't know enough stanzas of this song to realise it was a Thanksgiving poem. I thought it had more of a general holiday/cold weather theme. And we always sang "to grandmother's house" we go, but hey, just shows you how much we knew.
Over the river, and through the wood,
To grandfather's house we go;
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh,
Though the white and drifted snow.
It might even be that someone (my grandmother perhaps) taught us to sing this first verse over and over again so we missed the rest of the song with its pumpkin pie et al. Or perhaps I'm simply forgetting. All the same, this wonderful take on Child's traditional holiday song is by the illustrator of the Caldecott Honor award-winning classic Thy Friend, Obadiah.
Ms. Child originally published the song as a poem entitled A Boy's Thanksgiving Day in 1844. Oddly enough, Ms. Child was most famous for penning this ode to holiday travel, but her true legacy lies in using her gift of words toward helping abolish slavery and forward the women's rights movement. One classy gal if you ask me.
A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers here in the states... now, let the Christmas season begin!
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