Cover image for Over the river : a turkey's tale
Over the river : a turkey's tale

Turkey's tale
Over the river : a turkey's tale
Publisher Info:
New York, New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, 2005.
Physical Description:
1 volumes (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm.
General Note:
From the poem by Lydia Maria Child.
Presents the words to the popular Thanksgiving song, with illustrations of a turkey family going to Grandma and Grandpa Turkey's house, pursued by a boy with a toy gun and a dog who are hunting for Thanksgiving dinner.


Call Number
Material Type
E ANDE New or Popular Picture Book

On Order



Over the river Mama, Papa, and Baby Turkey embark for their vegetarian Thanksgiving Feast. But when a hungry boy and his dog start sniffing around, the turkeys have got to think fast before they become the main course!
Acclaimed artist Derek Anderson's glorious autumn artwork adds heaps of holiday humor to Lydia Maria Child's classic Thanksgiving song. And readers of all ages will be wondering who gobbles up whom until the dessert finale.

Author Notes

Lydia Maria Child was born in Medford, Massachusetts on February 11, 1802. She was educated at home, at a local dame school, and at a nearby women's seminary. Her first novel, Hobomok, was published in 1824. Her other novels include The Rebels or Boston before the Revolution, The First Settlers, Philothea, and Romance of the Republic. She wrote advice books including The Frugal Housewife, The Mother's Book, The Little Girl's Own Book, and The Freedmen's Book. She was an abolitionist, women's rights activist, and Indian rights advocate. She wrote books about these causes including An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans, Anti-Slavery Catechism, and An Appeal for the Indians. She was also the author of Over the River and Through the Wood (A Boy's Thanksgiving Day). She died on October 20, 1880.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

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 2005 Booklist