THE KNOT IN THE TRACKS by Roberto Piumini


by & translated by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 10
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 First published in Italy in 1982, an original tale about the heroic efforts of Petrushka, a solitary watchman on the Trans- Siberian Railroad, to keep the track free for the weekly train. His antagonist is a blue-black, wing-eared demon, Rashka, who literally ties the tracks in knots, then demands orange and mint tea--only available a three days' walk south--before he'll undo the mischief. Petrushka completes this quest in time to avert a wreck, only to find, a month later, the tracks knotted once again. This time, Rashka sets him an even more difficult task; but further trouble is averted when, having shut his big ears against Petrushka's cries to the saints, the demon is run over by a train he doesn't hear coming. Fedorov, who lives in Moscow, makes his US debut with illustrations that are strikingly akin to Barbara Cooney's, with romantic landscapes adorned with delicate wildflowers and the loyal, earnest watchman depicted in a cozily detailed rustic home. An entertaining choice to use with an older group. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-688-11166-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1994


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