CROSSING by Philip Booth
Kirkus Star


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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The locomotive sounds its old siren song in this pairing of a poem from Booth’s first book and spectacularly realistic art from Russia-born Ibatoulline. As the poet tallies passing freight cars—“B&M boxcar, / boxcar again, / Frisco gondola, / eight-nine-ten…”—an old-time, small town gathering of children and motorists gather at the crossing to watch, wait, and wave at last as the red caboose rumbles by. Ibatoulline skillfully captures a sense of the rolling stock’s hugeness, depicts rust and machinery with magnificent precision, gives his human cast a cheery, Norman Rockwell–style wholesomeness, and backs off in one spread to show all 100 cars (count them) spiraling into a tunnel. He is not so able at capturing a feeling of motion, however, so the train looks like it’s standing still, and since he has chosen to view the cars closeup, the entire shape of each is seldom discernible. All who have succumbed to the allure of the railroad will be stopped in their own tracks by this eye-filling, show-stopping debut showcase, but younger trainiacs may still prefer to hop aboard Donald Crews’s Freight Train (1978). (Picture book/poetry. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7636-1420-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2001


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