Tracks: All Aboard for the Wackiest Train Ride Ever!

David Galef, Author, Tedd Arnold, Illustrator
David Galef, Author, Tedd Arnold, Illustrator HarperCollins Publishers $16 (1p) ISBN 978-0-688-13343-6
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-688-13344-3
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It's a straight shot from the town of Granville to Denton, as a map on this book's title page shows. However, when railroad builder Albert breaks his glasses, he imagines he sees all sorts of obstacles and instructs his crew to lay tracks every which way to avoid them: ""A herd of cows was grazing, but to Albert they looked like gray and white boulders. `We must go around these large rocks,' he announced... THUD, BING, moo! The track zigzagged all over the pasture."" When Albert and his team finish, they've constructed a crowd-pleasing roller-coaster ride between the two towns. Galef (The Little Red Bicycle) enhances the text with onomatopoeic train sounds (""CHUFFA-CHUFFA-CHUFF"") and humorous quacks and cheeps of bewildered animals along the route. Arnold, author of such wacky action romps as No More Water in the Tub! and Green Wilma, provides watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations in Midwest-inspired hues of corn yellow, caboose red and sky blue. Images of frenetic rail workers in a cloud of dust, and an unsuspecting cow going for a sudden ride on the cow-catcher, convey the narrative's nonstop energy. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)
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