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Tracks
     

Tracks

by David Galef, Tedd Arnold (Illustrator)
 

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Bing, bing, bing! There's a railroad line being built between Granville and Denton.

But with nearsighted Albert laying the tracks, the passengers had better hang on to their seats.

David Galef's laugh-a-minute story and Ted Arnold's jump-off-the-page illustrations take you on the wildest ride of your life!

Overview

Bing, bing, bing! There's a railroad line being built between Granville and Denton.

But with nearsighted Albert laying the tracks, the passengers had better hang on to their seats.

David Galef's laugh-a-minute story and Ted Arnold's jump-off-the-page illustrations take you on the wildest ride of your life!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It's a straight shot from the town of Granville to Denton, as a map on this book's title page shows. However, when railroad builder Albert breaks his glasses, he imagines he sees all sorts of obstacles and instructs his crew to lay tracks every which way to avoid them: "A herd of cows was grazing, but to Albert they looked like gray and white boulders. `We must go around these large rocks,' he announced... THUD, BING, moo! The track zigzagged all over the pasture." When Albert and his team finish, they've constructed a crowd-pleasing roller-coaster ride between the two towns. Galef (The Little Red Bicycle) enhances the text with onomatopoeic train sounds ("CHUFFA-CHUFFA-CHUFF") and humorous quacks and cheeps of bewildered animals along the route. Arnold, author of such wacky action romps as No More Water in the Tub! and Green Wilma, provides watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations in Midwest-inspired hues of corn yellow, caboose red and sky blue. Images of frenetic rail workers in a cloud of dust, and an unsuspecting cow going for a sudden ride on the cow-catcher, convey the narrative's nonstop energy. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
This funny little story about Albert, a near-sighted boss on the railroad crew, has everything young children enjoy in a story: humorous illustrations, a suspense building story with a beginning, middle and end, and a overall moral. Albert is not only near-sighted but loses the glasses he does have during the beginning of construction of a new railroad between Granville and Denton. Instead of building the tracks straight, Albert's poor vision has him ordering the crew to build through ponds, barns and around in circles. When finished, instead of labeling it a disaster the town of Granville declares it "the most exciting ride ever" and turns Albert's fiasco into an amusement park.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2This jolly tale in which Albert, the head of railroad construction, directs the laying of new track from Granville to Denton, is hilariously illustrated and should become a read-aloud favorite. Albert accidentally smashes his glasses but does not have time to return home for his spare pair. Consequently, he directs his workers to put the tracks in what appear to him as a level meadow, a field of gray and white boulders, a red hill, and a green mountain, but what are in reality a pond, a herd of cows, a barn, and a grove of pines. The next day, the opening of the new line is quite an exciting experience for the first passengers. Albert, now wearing his glasses, is appalled at what he has wrought, but the riders are actually thrilled by the surprising ups and downs of their journey. Inventive, action-filled full- and half- page cartoons show the funny scenes. The technique is close to caricature, and the medium is cheery watercolors embellished with colored-pencil squiggles for interesting texture. The easy-to-read, lively text has a lot of onomatopoetic sounds such as thud, bing, cheep, and quack to add to the fun.Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
Lauren Peterson
Albert's job is to direct the workers laying track for the new railroad line. Everything is going smoothly until Albert's glasses fall off and break. Suddenly Sally's pond looks like "the blue sky a little lower than usual," and the cows in Dunn's pasture are "gray and white boulders." Neither Calder's barn nor a grove of pine trees detours the new tracks. The next day, the mayor and citizens cheer Albert and his crew as they all climb aboard the train for a ride on the new line. The ride turns out to be the wildest they have ever had, and to Albert's astonishment, they love it. Arnold's hilarious cartoons, rendered in watercolor and given interesting texture with colored pencil, enhance the light, slapstick mood of the text. This is rollicking good fun that will make for a lively story time.
Kirkus Reviews
When Albert, who is supervising the laying of new railroad track, drops his glasses, things get a little blurry. He has no time to go home for his spare pair. His hard-working crew puts down track through Sally's Pond, around cows that look like boulders, through a barn, and over some pine tree "mountains." Fortunately for Albert, the Mayor loves the wacky ride on the train's inaugural run, and all's well that ends well.

This starts with a funny premise, but because readers see, every step of the way, the truth behind Albert's mistakes, the second trip over the track (with the mayor) is a letdown. Arnold uses a looser style than usual, but the broad humor of the illustrations can't carry the piece.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688133436
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/28/1996
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.32(w) x 8.84(h) x 0.34(d)
Lexile:
570L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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