Sleep Train

Jonathan London, illus. by Lauren Eldridge. Viking, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-451-47303-5
This visually dramatic bedtime book features mixed-media three-dimensional models that Eldridge (Claymates) creates using found objects. An opening spread depicts the bedroom of a young train enthusiast reading a book in bed. The brown-skinned boy narrates his imagined journey on the eponymous train, which is headed through purple-pink twilight into the starry night: “Listen to the cows going mooo moooo.... Listen to the whistle going chooo-chooooo.” The boy counts not sheep but “ten sleepy cars going clickety-clack”: the tender, a boxcar, a tank car, a cattle car, a hopper, a gondola, a flatbed car, a coach car, a dining car, and his sleeping car, all sandwiched by “an engine in front and a caboose in back.” Spreads alternate between intricate views of the train’s regal interior and a countryside bathed in day’s-end light. London (the Froggy series) effectively uses repetitive sounds that echo both a train’s rhythm and the soothing sounds of a lullaby. Eldridge’s sculptural images create a fittingly dreamy world. Ages 2–5. Author’s agent: Dan Mandel, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc.; illustrator’s agent: Lori Kilkelly, Rodeen Literary Management. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2018
Release date: 04/03/2018
Genre: Children's
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