Review: Train by Elisha Cooper


Train by Elisha Cooper

Join the trains as they cross the United States in this fast-moving picture book.  Start on the platform with the conductors and passengers.  Then the doors whoosh shut and “All aboard” and we are off.  First the train is near the city, then it’s quickly out into the countryside.  The Commuter Train stops at the next station.  Then the story switches to a Passenger Train with an enormous engine and readers get to see inside the engineer’s cab with all of the levers.  The train crosses the countryside and then the book turns to a Freight Train that goes so slowly.  It is passed by an Overnight Train that curves up into the Rocky Mountains.  People head to their cabins to sleep and wake for breakfast in the dining car.  Their train is then passed by a High-Speed Train that blurs and finally glides into the station.  Your journey has ended, unless you read it again.

Perfect for young train lovers, they will learn about the different types of trains and terrain along this railroad clacking journey.  They also get tantalizing glimpses into the trains and their cars.  There are long images of rows of seats filled with people and curving rails ahead of the engine.  Young readers will also enjoy seeing how you sleep on a train and where you eat.  Cooper reaches beyond these details though and really captures the rhythm of train travel and the way they are so huge yet so dwarfed by the landscape.

Cooper’s illustrations are done in his signature loose style.  This works particularly well with landscapes and crowded train yards.  Children used to seeing exacting details on machinery will quickly get used to this less precise art style.  Instead of details, Cooper manages to capture atmosphere and feel in his illustrations.  This lets his trains race across the landscape showing the feel of that movement and speed.

Another magnificent picture book from Cooper, get this into the hands of young train fans or families heading on a train trip.  All aboard!   Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Orchard Books.