cover image Train Leaves the Station

Train Leaves the Station

Eve Merriam. Henry Holt & Company, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-1934-6

Gottlieb, the author/illustrator of Big Dog and My Stories by Hildy Calpurnia Rose , has deftly turned the neat synchronization of Merriam's lilting counting rhyme into an artistic express run. Between the rolling cadences of this peripatetic choo-choo and the vigorous swaths of color left in its tracks, this picture book practically redefines locomotion. Complete with a clock face on its front end, this little engine that definitely can sets out at varying times of day, accompanied by a brief--and generally thematic--couplet: ``Light on the ceiling, rug on the floor, / train leaves the station at four-o-four.'' Up hill and down dale, the excursion is a dazzling one: Gottlieb's glossy, crisply defined images practically leap from the pages. His childlike illustrations somewhat call to mind those of Lucy Cousins, but have a joie de vivre all their own. While not the most comprehensive vehicle for counting or learning to tell time, this captivating train nonetheless takes youngsters on a true joy ride. Ages 2-5. (Apr.)