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TRAINSTOP by Barbara Lehman

TRAINSTOP

By Barbara Lehman

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: April 7th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-618-75640-7
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

A little girl takes a fantastical train trip in this wordless outing from the creator of other such cozily surreal offerings as The Red Book (2004) and Rainstorm (2007). Gray city yields to perfect green countryside, the magical transition signaled by a four-panel sequence that finds the girl looking out the window at the passing city and the black blur of a tunnel and then, looking back in from the outside, her delighted face. A signalman stops the train, and she alights into a landscape inhabited by wee, toy-sized people. Lehman employs the visual language of serial storytelling in masterly fashion, framing her initial panels within the curvature of the train window; as the adventure expands, scenes outside the train appear within square panels or bleed to the edges of the page, allowing the protagonist and her teensy new friends limitless freedom. After rescuing a Lilliputian pilot from a tree, the little girl re-boards the train and heads back to the city—to which comes unexpected color with the gift of a tiny tree, delivered by a familiar toy plane. Comfortably mind-bending. (Picture book. 4-8)