cover image Hey Mr. Choo-choo, Where Are You Going?

Hey Mr. Choo-choo, Where Are You Going?

Susan Wickberg, , illus. by Yumi Heo. . Putnam, $16.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-399-23993-9

As a train takes daytrippers from the station to the seashore, a friendly, rhythmic interrogation unfolds. Debut author Wickberg posits the first question as a kind of catchy salute: “Hey Mr. Choo-choo,/ Red, white, and blue-choo,/ Hey Mr. Choo-Choo,/ What are you doing?” Over the course of the journey, the questions get more specific (“What are you pulling?” “What are you seeing?”), and the train offers up a kind of cadenced running commentary as it chugs along: “There's a long-long-tunnel./ Got my light-light-light./ In the dark-dark-dark/ I can see all right.” Heo's (Henry's First-Moon Birthday ) childlike paint, pencil and collage spreads take perspectives ranging from maplike to close up, while her approach varies from the stunningly graphic (as when the train crosses a trestle bridge that spans the walls of a canyon) to dreamy, gravity-defying playful. Even the most restless young railroad enthusiasts will find themselves glued to these pages. Ages 2-up. (Apr.)