Board a commuter train in New York, then follow the journey west and see the stations, the scenery, the different types of trains, and all the people who travel and work on the railroad system. - (Baker & Taylor)
Board a commuter train in New York, then follow the journey west to see the stations, the scenery, the different types of trains and all the people who travel and work on the railroad system. - (Baker & Taylor)
A night train, a freight train, a high-speed train. Racing across the country, from coast to coast. All aboard!
Climb aboard a red-striped Commuter Train in the East. Switch to a blue Passenger Train rolling through midwestern farmland. Then hop on a Freight Train, soar over mountains on an Overnight Train, and finish on a High-Speed Train as it races to the West Coast.
Trains are moving. Fast and loud, colorful and powerful. Experience their sights, sounds, smells--and the engineers and conductors who make them go--as they roll across the country.
*Starred Review* Cooper (Homer, 2012) follows several trains going about their daily routine in this exhilarating glimpse of life on the rails. There's the red-striped Commuter Train pulling out of the station, heading out of the concrete jungle into town after town; as the Commuter Train waits at a station, a larger Passenger Train whooshes past, shuttling passengers between cities; at the rail yard next to Grand Central Station, a Freight Train loads its cargo and sloooowly pulls away; this train ambles past ("As if the train and the clouds were having a race to see which go slower") an Overnight Train "switchbacking westward" to climb the Rocky Mountains; finally, there's the High-Speed Train, shaped like a bullet, its sleek nose pointing toward a city skyline. Throughout, there are "Passengers on, passengers off." Cooper's languid, rolling language works well with the looseness of the watercolors, which offer spectacular views of trains as seen from a distance as well as interior close-ups of levers and dials. Each new train is introduced dramatically after a page turn, and details of train living, like sleeping and eating on an overnight car, should thrill the intended audience. The front and back matter depict many different people rushing to and fro, and a glossary and a facts section, along with a brief author's note, conclude. A poetic, beautifully conceived book—it has the right amount of pomp and circumstance to make train travel sound just a little bit glamorous. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews
As five different kinds of trains overtake each other, we travel with them one by one from east to west across the country. We experience each--commuter train, passenger train, freight train, overnight train, high-speed train--in its context, and Cooper makes sure we hear them, too. He describes the sound of the passenger train approaching "like a storm," passing "like dropped pots and pans," and leaving "like the da dum da dum of a beating heart." Cooper varies his composition throughout, at times showing close-up interiors, long landscapes with small details along the edges, or several vignettes on one spread. The illustrations are sketchy but detailed, ideal for children who like to spend plenty of time poring over the pages. As always, Cooper's focus isn't completely subject-centric. He's just as likely to show vignettes of rats along the bottom of the page ("Tracks weave in and out. Small animals scurry under the tracks"). After all, there's more to see in a train station than just the trains. lolly robinso Copyright 2013 Horn Book Magazine.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Riding the rails from New York City to San Francisco takes on an expansive definition when Cooper (Farm) sounds the "All aboard," bringing readers on five kinds of trains (commuter, passenger, freight, overnight, and, high-speed). To move this transcontinental journey along, Cooper mostly eschews the boarding and exiting process (although he does use a stop in Chicago to portray the soaring neoclassic grandeur of a city station). Instead, he transports his audience from one train to the next as they pass ("As the Commuter Train waits, another train roars past on another track.... A bright blue Passenger Train hurrying between cities"). Cooper's signature sun-bleached watercolors beautifully convey human achievements and nature's grandeur through both detail and a range of scale, whether it's an entire train passing through a rural landscape on a starry night, the control panel in the engineer's cab, or a comparatively tiny elk. Like Brian Floca's Locomotive, also out this month, this is more than a tribute to a mode of transport: it's also a valentine to the sweep of American geography and, in particular, the glory of the Great Plains. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
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School Library Journal Reviews
PreS-Gr 2—Starting at a city terminal, Cooper takes readers on a commuter train that clatters out of a metropolis. At a suburban stop, the perspective shifts to a larger passenger train traveling between cities, jumps to a freight train slowly creeping across the Great Plains, then an overnight train, and finally a sleek high-speed train. The artist's characteristic muted watercolor and pencil illustrations are sketchlike yet very detailed. Transitions between busy cityscapes and serene panoramic vistas, outsides of stations and insides of train cars, and the refrain of "passengers off, passengers on" perfectly capture the feeling of riding the rails. No "choo-choo" noises here-"As the train leaves, it sounds like the da dum da dum of a beating heart. Then silence." Through the richness of the prose, not only the sounds but also the smells of the trains come to life-"grease and rust and burnt toast." As the author's note reveals, Cooper mixed many real-life details with a few fictional ones, such as a futuristic San Francisco depot at the end of the story. The longer text and somewhat stylized illustrations make the book most suitable for a one-on-one perusal with sophisticated young train aficionados but it is a wonderful foray into the "train books" category and a distinguished addition to most collections.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY
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