PUFF-PUFF, CHUGGA-CHUGGA by Christopher Wormell

PUFF-PUFF, CHUGGA-CHUGGA

Age Range: 4 - 6

KIRKUS REVIEW

Wormell (Blue Rabbit and the Runaway Wheel, see above) seamlessly blends landscape and playscape in this tale of a wonderfully catastrophic train wreck. As if it’s not bad enough that blubbery Mrs. Walrus, Mr. Bear, and Mrs. Elephant forcibly wedge themselves into the train’s tiny cars for a shopping trip into town, on their return they’re carrying 600 sardines, 15 loaves of bread, pots of honey, and a mountain of fresh fruit. “ ‘It’s just a matter of balance,’ ” Mrs. Elephant cheerfully assures the worried conductor. Indeed it is—until a bee crawls up Mrs. Elephant’s trunk, prompting a monumental sneeze. Groceries are scattered everywhere. What to do? Invite everyone to a picnic! Rather than his usual polychrome woodcuts, Wormell creates soft-edged, colored-pencil drawings here for a “younger,” softer look, depicting a simply carved wooden train sturdily pulling three hilariously overloaded cars. Afterward, willing trunks and flippers reset the tumbled cars onto their tracks, and off the train chugs, leaving the bloated picnickers strewn about like beached whales. Ending on a peaceful, satiated note, this explosive episode makes a first-rate entry in the annals of picture-book sneezes. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-689-83986-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: McElderry
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2000




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