THE LAST TRAIN by Gordon Titcomb

THE LAST TRAIN

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

“Now the tracks that shone like silver, have turned to rusty brown. / Thirty years ago the last train rolled through town.” Steam trains no longer whistle plaintively across America, but this rhythmic paean, based on the author's song of the same name, celebrates their memory. Lyrics that sound perfectly pleasurable when sung can come across a bit maudlin on paper: “Now the flattened copper pennies look like little metal tears / That a railroad cries before it disappears.” (The illustration shows pennies, before and after, flattened on the rails.) Listening to the song beforehand markedly improves the reading of the book, especially lines such as “Ooooh… Midnight Flyer, / Hear that lonesome freight train whistle call.” Minor’s first, lovingly rendered, atmospheric gouache painting shows a modern-day, T-shirted boy gazing at a boarded-up railroad station in Aurora, Ill. Images of a cigar box full of train paraphernalia from two previous Titcomb generations offer more glimpses into the iron horse’s glory days. A treasure for train enthusiasts, but make sure to take in the trailer on YouTube, too (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3caJkMjGLiw). (foreword by Arlo Guthrie, author’s note, Web resources) (Picture book. 3-8)

 

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59643-164-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2010




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