cover image Over the River & Through the Wood: A Holiday Adventure

Over the River & Through the Wood: A Holiday Adventure

Linda Ashman, illus. by Kim Smith. Sterling, $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4549-1024-4

“Off to the airport before the dawn./ It’s park, then dash, then... wait.” Ashman offers a boisterous update of this seasonal song, highlighting the contemporary tradition of harried holiday travel. The endpapers lead in nicely, showing a wall of photographs of the families about to descend on Grandma and Grandpa’s house for an unnamed winter holiday. Each family (some are mixed race, one includes two fathers) has its own journey to make by land, sea, or air (a hot-air balloon even comes into play), and each hits a snag, requiring rescue by a horse-drawn sleigh. Smith’s lively digital illustrations include plenty of visual jokes to pore over, and the diverse cast, non-specificity of the holiday being celebrated, and all-too-familiar travel woes make for a thoroughly relatable and enjoyable story. Ages 3–up. Author’s agent: Jennifer Mattson, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Oct.)