Faye Gibbons, Author, Sherry Meidell, Illustrator , illus. by Sherry Meidell. Boyds Mills $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56397-858-6

In this tale about the power of dreams from the team behind Emma Jo's Song, Sammy wants to watch with his own eyes as a steam locomotive wends its way through Turkey Creek. "Me and my family were hoeing cotton. The Georgia mountains were baking under a July sun. So were we," Sammy begins. Sammy wants to be an engineer, so when Grandpa comes along on his horse and buggy to announce the train's early arrival "today, 'stead of next week," Sammy jumps up alongside Grandpa to help spread the word. Meidell's energetic watercolors convey the journey's urgency as Grandpa's horse tears across the full-bleed spread and Sammy is thrown back in his seat. When the cart gets stuck, the boy meets up with the iron horse before it hits town: "Land a'mighty!" says Sammy when he spies the train stretched out as "big as the world." The steely gray, cloudy brown and brick red (for the caboose) train reaches across the width of the book, seemingly bursting from the neat white frame around the pages. The conductor offers to give Sammy and Grandpa a ride to the station, and isn't everyone surprised to see the pair hop off the passenger car! But to Jimmy, still wearing the conductor's hat he had on from the beginning, it's just one small part of a much bigger plan. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/04/2002
Release date: 03/01/2002
Genre: Children's
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