Railroad Hank

Railroad Hank

by Lisa Moser, Benji Davies
     
 

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Railroad Hank is headed up the mountain in his fine little train to see Granny Bett. She's feeling kind of blue. Along the way, he stops to talk to Missy May, Country Carl, Cinnamon Cobbler, and Reel-'Em-In Sam. Each friend offers up something to cheer Granny Bett, but Hank has bigger ideas. By the time he reaches the mountaintop, his train is bursting with crazy

Overview

Railroad Hank is headed up the mountain in his fine little train to see Granny Bett. She's feeling kind of blue. Along the way, he stops to talk to Missy May, Country Carl, Cinnamon Cobbler, and Reel-'Em-In Sam. Each friend offers up something to cheer Granny Bett, but Hank has bigger ideas. By the time he reaches the mountaintop, his train is bursting with crazy cargo! And Granny Bett has a great idea for what to do with it all.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Railroad Hank has "a fine little train" and a good heart, so he's on a run to Granny Brett's place to cheer her up. As he stops at farms along the way, each neighbor offers something to make the thoughtful gesture even more special. But Hank seems to have been absent from school the day basic biology was taught. "Where do you get eggs?" he asks Missy May, and when told they come from hens, "of course," Hank scoops up a passel of squawking poultry and leaves the eggs behind. Variations on this interchange are repeated three more times, so when Hank finally arrives at Granny's, he has an entire farm (including apple trees) in tow and all the proprietors giving chase. Hank is a well-meaning bumbler of the first order, and Moser's (Perfect Soup) dialogue-driven story practically demands to be read with a sunny twang. Davies's (Dino Parade) warmhearted, energetic drawings are a good match, bringing to mind classic Golden Books while also evincing a veteran animator's sense of composition and color. Ages 3–8. Illustrator's agent: Lucie Luddington, the Bright Agency. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
A lovable engineer gets confused and takes a train full of surprises up a mountain. Granny Bett is feeling blue, so Railroad Hank is a-comin' to her rescue. But what should he bring to cheer her up? Folk from all around the town give suggestions as Hank and his little red train chug past. Missy May from the Happy Flap Farm says that scrambley eggs always make her smile. Bringing Granny Bett some eggs is a fine idea. But instead of taking the eggs, Railroad Hank loads the chickens onto the train! After all, that is where the eggs come from, isn't it? And of course, when Cinnamon Cobbler suggests giving Granny Bett a crunchy red apple, Railroad Hank takes the whole tree instead. By the time he makes it up the mountain to Granny Bett, with a string of townsfolk running behind him, his train is about to burst. But that just might be exactly what Granny Bett needs. With a large, rounded chin and kindhearted grin, Railroad Hank's bumbling nature comes through with affection, not malice. Readers will delight in repeating Hank's affable reply to each person that he meets: "Okey dokey." (Impossible not be read aloud in a slow, drawn-out voice.) Plus, the inevitable train sounds will have everyone joining in. An endearing tale of a jovial fellow, trying to do good by the world. (Picture book. 3-5)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Thoughtful train engineer Railroad Hank and his spotted dog chug across the countryside to visit Granny Bett. Along the route, he stops at Happy Flap Farm, Dandelion Dairy, Fish-Jump Pond, and Applesauce Hill, explaining to the folks who greet him that Granny is feeling blue. His concerned friends offer suggestions about what helps them feel better, and, each time, he takes the advice a step further. When Missy May recommends scrambley eggs, Hank loads a train car with her chickens. When Reel-'Em-In Sam advises a sizzling pan of fresh fish, Hank fills barrels with pond water from Sam's fishing hole. And so on. As the train rolls along, filled with their possessions, Hank's friends chase after it. The chaos that ensues when Hank and company arrive at their destination lifts Granny's spirits. In the concluding spread, readers see a relaxed Granny Bett resting on a bench swing mounted on the rear of the moving train's caboose. The repetitive plot pattern in this feel-good story draws readers into predicting what Hank might pack onto the train next. Listeners can chime in with the "Chugga chugga, chugga chugga, woo woo woo!!" refrain. Moser's folksy writing style is paired well with Davies's perky acrylic illustrations. Mountains, fenced pastures, and farm animals firmly ground the story in an appropriate setting. Davies adds plenty of humorous touches, including comical expressions on some of the animals. Cows, chickens, fish, eggs, apples, and pails of milk fill the endpapers. This satisfying, good-humored picture book sends a worthy message about looking after other people.—Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375868498
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/25/2012
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
10.70(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

LISA MOSER is the author of Squirrel's World, which is on the 2010-2011 Texas Bluebonnet Master List, The Monster in the Backpack, Watermelon Wishes, Kisses on the Wind, which received a Oppenheimer Toy Gold Seal, and Perfect Soup. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Marty, and their daughter, Lydia.

BENJI DAVIES is an illustrator and animator from London, whose illustrations have appeared in children's books around the world.

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