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New Baby Train
     

New Baby Train

by Woody Guthrie, Marla Frazee (Illustrator)
 
All aboard! Every young child wants to know: "where do babies come from?" In this book, Woody Guthrie provides an imaginative answer: "the new baby train!" Rambunctious and reassuring at the same time, this sing song story will have readers giggling all the way down the track. Frazee's beaming babies and vintage style will send this book roaring off the shelves.

Overview

All aboard! Every young child wants to know: "where do babies come from?" In this book, Woody Guthrie provides an imaginative answer: "the new baby train!" Rambunctious and reassuring at the same time, this sing song story will have readers giggling all the way down the track. Frazee's beaming babies and vintage style will send this book roaring off the shelves.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Guthrie's song is brought to life by Frazee's gouache illustrations, which tell a story all their own. A guitar-playing narrator and his younger siblings sit together on their front porch, as the boy tries to explain where babies come from. The text reads, "I guess little babies come along/just about any way they can./Cars, trucks, tractors, airplanes,/any way they can come." In subsequent illustrations, the children dash off, wait for a train together, and watch as their brother climbs aboard. Babies also wait for the train and when it arrives, they line up, all sizes, shapes, and colors, with diapers dragging and tickets ready. The narrator tells their tale as the train races through hill and dale, clouds and sky, to deliver its cargo. On the way, the little ones are served bottles of milk, take naps, and then, one by one, are dropped off at their new homes. The boy brings the last one to his house, where the entire family welcomes the new arrival. The brown palette of the artwork and the clothing of the characters give this book a Depression-era look, while the technique of using lines to fill the backgrounds provides a constant sense of motion. Swirling clouds surround a train that doesn't need tracks and at times looks like it's flying to its destination. A fanciful and fun rendition.-Jane Marino, Bronxville Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Rather than airborne transport of newborns by the stork, singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie imagined distribution of infants by a special-delivery train. The words to his song serve as the text for this whimsical view of toddlers riding in an old-time train on their way to their new families. An older boy with a guitar (recalling a young Woody, perhaps) hops aboard, helps the conductor with childcare, and then returns home with one of the babies as a new addition to his own large family. Frazee uses gouache on speckled tan paper that mimics brown paper sacks, conveying a nostalgic flavor of Depression-era Dust Bowl farms with flat fields, tiny houses, and big, loving families, and her interpretation of the train effectively shows its special powers with varying perspectives. Unfortunately, as charming as the illustrations are, this train isn't bound for glory, as there is no music included for the unfamiliar song (which was only recently recorded for the first time) and the lyrics are not particularly successful as text to be read aloud. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316072038
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
09/01/2004
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.32(w) x 10.28(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) wrote more than a thousand folk songs, including many for children. Woody loved babies and he loved trains. His rail journeys across the country inspired some of his most famous songs, including "This Train is Bound for Glory" and "This Land is Your Land." His song "New Baby Train" was recently recorded for the first time by Kim Wilson on the CD, Daddy O Daddy.

Marla Frazee has created many acclaimed picture books, including the lullaby Hush, Little Baby, a Folk Song with Pictures. As a longtime fan of Woody Guthrie and American roots music, Frazee approached this project with a desire to capture Woody's spirit, playfulness, and era. She visited train museums, studied photographs of the Dust Bowl, and listened to a lot of Woody's music while working on this book. She works in a small cabin in the backyard of the house she shares with her husband and three sons in Pasadena, California.

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