PattyMacDotComma's Reviews > The Gandy Dancers: And Work Songs From the American Railroad

The Gandy Dancers by Vanita Oelschlager
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it was amazing
bookshelves: arc-netgalley-done, nonfiction, children-young, picture-graphic, history

5★ children’s book
This book takes me back to my own childhood in the States when we learned many of these songs in school.

Mike Blanc’s illustrations are glorious, stylised portrayals of steam trains and the many kinds of men who worked on the railroads “all the live-long day” – men from all over the world. I think this will help kids realise that America has welcomed people from many cultures for a very long time. And these are the people who built the country for us.

“The Chinese, the Mexican Americans and the Native Americans were in the West. The Irish were in the Midwest, and Eastern Europeans and Italians in the Northeast laid and maintained track as well.”

Their singing and chanting is like that of the sailors who time their actions to the rhythm of the song. When people have to work together, timing is everything. And singing is a lot of fun, too.

The songs and music are here as well as the history of the ‘gandy dancers’ , those who worked on the tracks. There is more about porters, brakemen and firemen, but it’s those men who did the hard physical work of moving the tracks for whom this is named.

A great gift for anyone who likes folk music and art and particularly for children you’d like to introduce to both. It's lovely just to browse through, too.

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read a PDF copy of this beautiful production.
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Reading Progress

October 17, 2015 – Shelved
Started Reading
November 13, 2015 – Finished Reading

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