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From the PublisherBulletin, Center for Children's Books
Kids lucky enough to have ridden the rails may enjoy comparing notes, and those who only catch a flash of passing cars can ponder the wonders behind the windows.
Striking, full-spread paintings and rhythmic text capture the rush and thrill of trains in this attractive title. . . . An excellent choice for preschool story hours, this will also make a good bedtime selection, launching little ones on their own dreamy night-time adventures.
An ideal addition to story hours with train or travel themes
On an overnight train to see Grandma, a boy traveling with his father takes in the sights and sounds. It's a vintage subject, but Stutson and Tillotson mine it astutely. Small sensations and experiences are just as important here as big ones, as they so often are for children: mastering the art of carrying a water-filled paper cup down the rocking aisles receives the same weight as the thrill of speeding through countryside and town. Truncated verse suggests the motion of the train: "Back we go On rattling floors," Stutson writes after the boy has eaten in the dining car, "Car To car Through hissing doors." Her spare tone acts as counterpoint to the glowing lighting and dramatic angles of Tillotson's full-bleed pastels. One of the most telling scenes takes place in the dining car, where the boy is shown wondering at the presentation of an exotic, domed entrée e; the mirrored surface reflects the server's smiling face. This tribute offers evidence that, when it comes to the romance of train travel, a child's love is here to stay.