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by Lynn Curlee
From steam engines to diesel engines and box cars to sleeper cars, a ride on Lynn Curlee’s Trains is about as close as most kids can hope to get to the Japanese bullet train or the inner workings of steam power. This book’s bold, graphic acrylic paintings are a perfect match for sleek, modern engines; dark, dirty locomotives; and the sprawling landscapes of the ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Under the guise of a children's book, this book spent way too little time on the illustrations and overdid it on the verbiage. Way too long even for a level 4 reader, it read's more as an older child's book or even an adult informational book. It tricked me online, convincing me by the cover that it might be suitable for my preschoolers. Alas, they spent less than 30 seconds looking at the pictures, then were disinterested. Not worth our time.
In my opinion this could have been a great train book. The art is crisp and effective. However, the text was too happy and glossed over. Almost all of the people looking at the progress of the trains were wealthy and in rich clothing. The work of the immigrants was grossly edited, and the bits about Native Americans did one heck of an injustice. Yes, children like trains because they are powerful and somewhat romantic, but there is no need to snowball the truth in order to create a good book.
This book is great for kiddos obsessed with trains. However, it has a too many words (3-5 lengthy paragraphs on each page) and not enough pictures for a toddler. We usually just read the paragraph related to the picture since our toddler wouldn't sit through more than a paragraph or two per page. Now that the toddler is moving on to school, we have begun reading more of the text. It depends on the day whether he's interested in the lengthier text. The book does have a lot of wonderful ...more
To begin with, the author does a big injustice by making the history of trains in our country very "perfect". They fail to mention the toil and hardships that some people endured as the railroad rolled over their land. The illustrations are nice, but overall, there are better books for train lovers or anyone wanting to introduce kids to the world of trains.
Aug 09, 2016 Maggi Rohde rated it liked it
A fairly comprehensive history of trains, with a focus on North America. I appreciate the way the narrative is not interrupted by fact boxes or diagrams; the illustrations complement rather than distracting from the text. Excellent for upper elementary.