cover image A Ride in the Crummy

A Ride in the Crummy

Gary Hines. Greenwillow Books, $13.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-688-09691-5

Riding a ``sleek, silver train,'' Toby is transported by Grandpa's story of another, long-ago train trip--a memorable journey on a steam-powered locomotive. In the author's first book, Grandpa is just a boy when he, his brother and mother accompany his father to a logging camp for the summer, and he is thrilled to sit in the aerie-like seats high up in the ``crummy'' (``what men on the railroad called a caboose because it was so dirty with soot and grime''), to listen to the ``sneezing'' of the engine (``Akachoo-kachoo-kachoo'') and to tremble as the ground falls away when the train crosses a gap between the mountains, supported only by a ``tall wooden trestle.'' Throughout, similarly precise language conjures up the sights, sounds and sensations of Grandpa's childhood travels. Watercolor illustrations--full-page pictures as well as borders for the text--are delicately, almost impressionistically composed and slightly muted in tone, as if emphasizing another aspect of Grandpa's reminiscences: the remoteness of the past. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)