cover image Over the River and Through the Wood

Over the River and Through the Wood

Lydia Marie Child. Henry Holt & Company, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-3825-5

Like a Mad magazine satire in both illustration style and intent, this urban take on Child's pastoral ditty pokes fun at tradition. Catrow's (She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!) trip to Grandfather's house involves a van with uptight parents, crying kids and a baby who escapes into the lavish Macy's parade. The baby's mishaps are amusing, but, like all satire, the joke depends on the audience's familiarity with the original work. Young children will fare better with Nadine Bernard Westcott's softer interpretation or Christopher Manson's reverent version (both 1993); this one is for grade-school sophisticates. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)