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From the PublisherPublishers Weekly
(December 22, 2003; 0-439-45583-9)
Kuklin's (How My Family Lives in America) photo-essay documents the passage of vintage steam locomotives (Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauges, to be precise) as they chug through the Colorado Rockies and across a series of crisply designed, strongly horizontal spreads. Brief captions trace the journey and drive home the sound effects: "Onto the trestle/ Over the river/ Clickety-clack/ Along the track" (all train noises are set in oversize, color 1890s-style type). Pages alternate from one bold color to another, while borders along the top and bottom of the spreads effectively echo train tracks. In Kuklin's most impressive photograph, the train snakes around a cliff at 7,200 feet above sea level, as sun glints off the striations and corrugations of rock. While the youngest trainspotters may be enthralled by the sight of a steam locomotive in action, older picture book readers may be less satisfied. The photographs do not coalesce into an effective narrative arc, and often-even in the cliff shot-the light casts such harsh shadows that the black locomotive is partially or totally obscured. A final spread offers various facts about the engine, including the meaning behind various train whistle patterns. Ages 4-8. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
(December 1, 2003; 0-439-45583-9)
PreS-Gr 1-Young train enthusiasts will love this title. The five Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge steam engines still in operation are expertly photographed "at various locations along their route in the Colorado Rocky Mountains." The crisp, full-color photos are accompanied by short descriptive phrases such as, "Ring the bell/All Aboard!/Whoo-whoo/Ready to go." The trains are shown close up and at a distance, against stunning backgrounds, and the text is rhythmic: "Going back/Along the track/Clickety-clack/Along the track." The large illustrations will capture children's attention. Train facts are included in the back.-Melinda Piehler, Sawgrass Elementary School, Sunrise, FL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.