Picture books aren’t only for the very young. Floca’s Caldecott-winning story of a four-day trip west on the first Union Pacific and Central Pacific lines will resonate with Californians of all ages. Brightly painted steam locomotives carry a family in 1869 to the Sacramento terminal (passengers for San Francisco travel on by steamboat). Meet the crew--rugged engineer, sooty fireman, two brakemen, and the conductor. Roll with them across the Great Plains, climb the peaks of the Rockies and Sierras, cross a perilous wooden trestle; imitate the sounds. The star of this show, pictured from many unusual perspectives, is the locomotive itself in all its speed and power. Floca’s detailed paintings explore inside the train, too, showing passengers buying newspapers, playing cards, and desperately trying to sleep. Check the endpapers for a route map, cutaway views, even Union and Central Pacific timetables with fares of 1869. An exceptional gift for anyone who loves railroads or California history!
2013, Ages 8 up
Check it out from your library: Library Catalog
Recommended by: Barbara Talcroft
Barbara Talcroft reviews children’s books professionally for childrenslit.com and for Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database. She has a Master’s degree in International Children’s Literature. She also has many years’ experience as a teacher. Barbara is one of the founders of LANTERN and its past chairperson.