From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Thoughtful train engineer Railroad Hank and his spotted dog chug across the countryside to visit Granny Bett. Along the route, he stops at Happy Flap Farm, Dandelion Dairy, Fish-Jump Pond, and Applesauce Hill, explaining to the folks who greet him that Granny is feeling blue. His concerned friends offer suggestions about what helps them feel better, and, each time, he takes the advice a step further. When Missy May recommends scrambley eggs, Hank loads a train car with her chickens. When Reel-'Em-In Sam advises a sizzling pan of fresh fish, Hank fills barrels with pond water from Sam's fishing hole. And so on. As the train rolls along, filled with their possessions, Hank's friends chase after it. The chaos that ensues when Hank and company arrive at their destination lifts Granny's spirits. In the concluding spread, readers see a relaxed Granny Bett resting on a bench swing mounted on the rear of the moving train's caboose. The repetitive plot pattern in this feel-good story draws readers into predicting what Hank might pack onto the train next. Listeners can chime in with the "Chugga chugga, chugga chugga, woo woo woo!!" refrain. Moser's folksy writing style is paired well with Davies's perky acrylic illustrations. Mountains, fenced pastures, and farm animals firmly ground the story in an appropriate setting. Davies adds plenty of humorous touches, including comical expressions on some of the animals. Cows, chickens, fish, eggs, apples, and pails of milk fill the endpapers. This satisfying, good-humored picture book sends a worthy message about looking after other people.-Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
About the Author
LISA MOSER is the author of Squirrel's World,
which is on the 2010-2011 Texas Bluebonnet Master List, The Monster in the Backpack, Watermelon Wishes, Kisses on the Wind,
which received a Oppenheimer Toy Gold Seal, and Perfect Soup.
She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Marty, and their daughter, Lydia.
BENJI DAVIES is an illustrator and animator from London, whose illustrations have appeared in children's books around the world.