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CLACKETY TRACK by Skila Brown Kirkus Star


Poems About Trains

by Skila Brown ; illustrated by Jamey Christoph

Pub Date: March 12th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-7636-9047-2
Publisher: Candlewick

A poetry book for the early-elementary train lover looking for some clever verbiage to complement the cabooses.

It’s no mean feat to conjure up an original train book for kids, but, by gum, Brown and Christoph manage it. With both old favorites (freight, steam, bullet) and some new eclectic additions (zoo train, whistle-stop tour, shoulder ballast cleaner), young train enthusiasts will have plenty here to whistle at. Thirteen poems touch on a wide range of train travel and experiences. From the quiet of the early morning train yards through the power of a train snowplow to the comfort of a sleeper car, each poem is worked in a different form of verse, paired to the type of train that fits it best. There’s certainly some sophisticated wordplay at work here, as in “Electric Train”: “Power from the wire. / Pantograph required. / Cabled Line of Fire. / Tethered Train Flyer.” Don’t know the word “pantograph”? The “Train Facts” tucked in at the back of the book offer further information that is bound to be adored by expository-nonfiction readers. Digital art reveals a multiracial array of train enthusiasts, in both historical and present-day views. The overall package is a beautiful gift for locomotive lovers.

A book unafraid to go on beyond choo-choo.

(Picture book/poetry. 4-7)