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Railroad John and the Red Rock Run

Railroad John and the Red Rock Run

by Tony Crunk, Michael Austin (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Author Crunk has written an entertaining, funny book about Lonesome Bob and Granny Apple Fritter who board Railroad John's train for a trip to Red Rock, where Lonesome Bob will marry Wildcat Annie. He must be there by 2:00 p.m. sharp because Wildcat Annie waits for no one. Railroad John guarantees that the train will arrive on time because he has never been late once in forty years. But along the way, unforeseen things happen. Bad Bill stops the train and asks for coal for his fire-breathing palomino. Now the train will not run, but Granny's Apple Fritter Chili-Pepper Corn Pone Muffins save the day. They are placed in the train's firebox and everyone is on their way again. Next, the bridge up ahead is washed out, but the train is saved by Lonesome Bob's guitar-box strings lasso. The train is late by twenty-two minutes, but Railroad John says he will make up the time. The adventure goes on with a swirling, swooping storm that lifts up the train and sets it down at the Red Rock station at 1:59. Lonesome Bob makes it on time, but Wildcat Annie is nowhere to be seen. All ends well when Annie rides up on her horse, carrying the coal Bad Bill stole, and then she weds Lonesome Bob. The illustrations are done in tones of brown, cream and white. They are life-like, detailed, and wonderful. 2006, Peachtree Publishers, Ages 7 to 10.
—Della A. Yannuzzi
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Lonesome Bob and Granny Apple Fritter board the Sagebrush Flyer to Red Rock for Lonesome Bob's wedding. They must be there by two o'clock because the bride, Wildcat Annie, waits for no one. Railroad John assures them that the train has not been late in 40 years. After being held up by outlaws who steal their coal and facing fierce rainstorms and a washed-out bridge, they are finally whisked to their destination by a "sure enough Idaho spine-twiner." They manage to arrive on the dot, only to find that Annie is a bit late, having stopped to capture the bad guys and bake some muffins for Granny. The text moves along at a rollicking clip and has a true tall-tale tone. Austin's sepia-toned acrylic illustrations are framed to look like old photographs and make interesting use of light, shadow, and perspective. The final full-bleed picture adds another layer to the book. Rendered in a more realistic style, it shows a boy playing with a train set in an attic, surrounded by objects that will look familiar to readers (Granny's floppy straw hat, Railroad John's pocket watch, etc.). The tale works well as a group read-aloud, but could also easily fit into a storyteller's repertoire.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Granny Apple Fritter and Lonesome Bob are countin' on Railroad John to bring in the Sagebrush Flyer on time to Red Rock because Lonesome Bob is going to marry Wildcat Annie at exactly 2:00. But none of them have counted on calamities like Bad Bill's gang robbing the train of all its coal, or the Cripplesome Creek being washed out, or a whirlwind swirling them off the tracks. Good thing Granny's Hard-Shell-Chili-Pepper-Corn-Pone Muffins are hotter than coal; Lonesome Bob's guitar strings make a leap-the-bridge lariat; and the whirly-wind set down that train at the station at exactly 1:59. But where is Wildcat Annie? Minutes later, she roars up like a dust storm, having rousted the outlaws, retrieved the coal, baked a platter of Granny's muffins and bought Lonesome Bob a wedding gift of guitar strings. The exaggerated acrylic illustrations spur on the outlandishness with offbeat sepia tintype images, giddy perspectives and clever compositions. Lonesome Bob looks like a Martin Short character and a recipe spoof for muffins lists rattlesnake milk, cactus flour and pure dragon's tooth extract. It's mighty tall-tale telling, just waitin' for a teller and a passel of kids. (Picture book/tall tale. 5-8)

Product Details

Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.90(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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