Sunday, November 14, 2010

Children's Book Monday

Over the River and Through the Wood 
by Lydia Maria Child
illustrated by Christopher Mason
The dark comes early.  The newly-shortened day inspires us to finish all work during the sunny hours and leave our evenings open to the cozy activities that seem cozier with the curtains pulled tight against the black night with lamps bathing the living room with a yellow glow.  The dishes are dried and stacked in the cabinet and the pumpkin candle flickers from its perch on a high shelf.  We sprawl on the floor (not because it is more comfortable, but so that there is no argument over who sits next to me) and I send someone to the book basket to make our first evening selection.

We have several Thanksgiving books borrowed from the library shelves and we have gathered a few of our own, but nothing has drawn the children as much as this simple book given to them last year by their Papa and Gran.  Perhaps they love it because it is the words of the song sung at the end of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (their current favorite DVD) or perhaps it is sentimental to them because we sing this song every time we drive over a certain bridge that is surrounded by trees.  Perhaps it is just a fun book to listen to as we sing together.  Perhaps the woodcut illustrations are fun to look at because they are so unique and different from the typical colored pictures of many books.  The reason is insignificant really, but it is one book that all five children listen to together and enjoy.  Yes, Alaine nestles in my lap and listens, too.

We read a few more stories, too, and not just Thanksgiving selections.  The clock ticks closer to bedtime. As soon as we finish reading, the chaos of  snacks and teeth brushing and pajamas interrupts our illusion of calm.  Bodies wiggle from exhaustion and mouths wiggle endlessly.  I straighten the books and put them back in their basket home, thankful for books, thankful for silence and hubbub, thankful for family, thankful for memories.


Consider joining Elise at her quiet spot for a new book idea every Monday....and stop a moment to visit Kathi to share your family's special Thanksgiving-themed books.   While you are at it, you can read my mom's list of Thanksgiving recommendations, too. 


  1. I'm so happy that the children all enjoy this book! I learned this song when I was in elementary school, and I always loved it. Aunt Linda and I would sing it on the way to our grandparents' house, at a certain turn in the road...and it is a thrill to know that my own sweet grandbabies love the same song!

  2. I actually waffled back and forth about which book to do- mine, or this one! :) We're kindreds. Yep!

    I love this book- love woodcuts, love to sing the song with my children!

    Blessings, my friend.


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