Reviews

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

An invitation to a holiday gathering at Grandma and Grandpa's house is the catalyst for some new verses to the familiar song. Front and back endpapers show family portraits, and observant readers can match them to the four families receiving invitations. They are wonderfully diverse: a suburban Caucasian couple with three kids; a big-city gay coupleone white, one dark-skinnedwith a baby and a young girl that reflect their races; a white woman and a black man from San Francisco with their mixed-race boy; and a Caucasian couple from Alaska who appear to have adopted twin native girls. Their travels are just as variedferry, airplane, subway, hot air balloon, car, shuttle, train. The book follows each family individually as their journeys begin, but their paths cross near their final destination, when each is thwarted in some way until"NEIGH!"they are saved by an increasingly crowded horse-drawn sleigh. The final spreads, in the grandparents' home, are cozy and reflect realityreaders can almost hear the cacophony of voices, see the friendly chaos of lots of people gathered together, and feel the love. Ashman's verses mostly fit the rhythm of the original song, and Smith's digital illustrations are filled with so many details that repeat readings are required to spot them all. A rollicking fun time sure to be a hit with those traveling for their own family gatherings. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


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

PreS-Gr 2-This contemporary take on the classic song features a diverse, modern extended family. Four siblings race to get home for the holidays while keeping their pies intact. They all run into problems whether they are flying, boating, renting a car, or even ballooning. In each instance, they are rescued by a man in a sleigh. A variety of family types are represented: biracial, adoptive, and those with same-sex parents. The book is full of rhyming words and has a pleasing cadence. Illustrations are full of friendly facial expressions and moments of family joy. The predictable "Neighhh" on several pages will make this a fun read-aloud. VERDICT An enchanting spin on an old tale.-Kris Hickey, Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In this modern incarnation of the song, four grown siblings and their own families make their way to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Thanksgiving. They start on different modes of transportation, but obstacles lead to them all arriving in the same horse-drawn sleigh. Lively illustrations depict a genial, diverse family. Verses can be sung to the traditional tune; music not included. (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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

"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.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Ashman and Smith collaborate in the creation of a unique family-gathering holiday adventure. Four families nuclear, biracial, adoptive, and gay head to the grandparents' house for Thanksgiving. Coming from different parts of the U.S., the families make their ways to grandma's house via car, train, plane, and boat. But problems occur en route the car runs out of gas, the rental lot at the train station is empty, a tire goes flat on the airport shuttle, and so on. Luckily, in every transportation crisis, a one-horse open sleigh always manages to come to the rescue. Based on the familiar nineteenth-century Thanksgiving Day song, Ashman's galloping lyrics neatly complement Smith's lively traveling scenes, which are packed full of fun family antics. The warm full-color palette and cheery cartoonish faces add to the genial atmosphere, and humorous details peppering the backgrounds will be fun for little kids to hunt for. With singsongy lines and a repeated refrain, this celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday and families of all stripes will be a great fit for group storytime.--Lock, Anita Copyright 2015 Booklist

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