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This Train

by Paul Collicutt

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999
24 pages
ISBN: 0-374-37493-7

Ages 2-6

The fascination that many young children have for trains will find fulfillment in the boldly colored, rail-rich pages of this picture book. The simple, inviting text on each double-page spread invites children to observe contrasting elements in the two pictures, in which trains are the unifying theme. "This train is going uphill. This train is going downhill," reads the text on one pair of pages. "This train is on a bridge. This train is in a tunnel," reads another. But train lovers will notice much more than the contrasting elements of the images. Paul Collicutt's locomotives are colorful and completely enticing, from an old-fashioned steam engine to a high-powered monorail and many others. For the endpapers he has painted portraits of real-life trains and provided information identifying each one. Some children may be frustrated if they want to match the trains on the endpapers with the trains in the pages of the book. It is difficult, if not impossible, to do, and it is unfortunate that there is no clear indication of whether the trains that grace the pages are real or from the artist's imagination. Despite this, there is much for children to take notice of in the book. And for those who love trains, there is much to dream on as well. CCBC categories: Picture Books for Younger Children; Concept Books.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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