cover image Train CL

Train CL

Charles Temple. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-395-69826-6

From the rhythmic clacking of the wheels to the rocking of the cars with their load of swaying passengers, the poetry in motion that is the essence of railroad travel reverberates throughout this lyrical picture book. Featuring an African American family on a train trip, Temple's (Shanty Boat) graceful ballad never misses a beat, using repetition to pull its audience steadily along from beginning to end: ""And the wheels come squeaking, and the smoke comes chuffing, and the train comes rolling down the rail."" Through Johnson's (Knoxville, Tennessee) imaginative, thickly painted acrylics, readers can watch the trip unfold from many vantage points-up-close-and-personal with the passengers inside, or from afar, alongside a girl hoeing corn, a man in a prison cell, or even the cows grazing in nearby fields. A deceptively simple book that rewards close attention. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)