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Shortcut Hardcover – October 23, 1992


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1st edition (October 23, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688064361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688064365
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #602,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A group of children get the thrill of a lifetime when they decide to cut short their walk home in Crews's new picture book. Though they know the freight train might round the bend momentarily, the kids opt for playing along the tracks instead of walking on their familiar route. Charged with excitement, the escapade turns to fullblown alarm when the train whistle sounds, sending the youngsters scrambling to safety at the last minute. Crews's economical text deftly explores a roller coaster ride of emotion in just a few paragraphs, highlighted with effective onomotopeia-Whoo wh(,o; klackity, klackity, klack. The underlying childlike sensibilities here-taking a risk to the limit, for example-authenticate the author's voice throughout. The story, an extension of the characters first introduced in Crews's nostalgic Bigmama's, is a perfect foil for the artist's masterful renderings of trains. A predominantly warm, earthy palette sets a serene and playful mood at the outset, followed by several dark, wordless spreads that show freight cars rushing past, ready to speed right off the page. Scenes portraying the frightened children are equally effective in this out of the ordinary drama set forth with uncommon artistry. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"An out of the ordinary drama set forth with uncommon artistry." -- --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Beautifully crafted from cover to cover". -- --Booklist (starred review) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Its a good read for any child.
Sandra L. Buckner
Great pictures and easy text plus the train sounds printed in text throughout the book make this one perfect for children.
bibliobethica
Bought this for my youngest but my 8 year old loves it!
J.W.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Maddi Hausmann Sojourner on December 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
Young children may already be familiar with Donald Crews' _Freight Train_. That book introduced them to their colors and each car in the train.
This book is an actual story where real characters have a brush with a freight train. It's a good follow-on to Freight Train because it introduces the concept of trains being dangerous. Shortcut begins with seven (older) children playing far from home, who decide to take a shortcut along the train tracks. As they continue on their walk, the colors hint that danger is coming as the overall tints get darker. Sure enough, a freight train does pull up, and the children must scramble away to safety. Readers of Freight Train will recognize Crews' marvelous engine and car renderings even in silhouette.
This is a also a great book to use for discussion after reading together. Did the children make a wise decision to take the shortcut? Should they have listened to their mother? What do you think they decided to do after the train incident? Crews' book teachers safety without preaching, and also hints at the beginnings of independence away from parents.
Note: this book has the same children as Crews' book "Bigmamma." While "Bigmamma" is not a train book, if your child wants to know more about the characters, this might be your next stop.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
I enjoy reading this book because it was interesting how the kids wanted to take the shortcut home, even toght ther knew it was not safe. The story reminded me of how sometimes when im doing homework i wanted to get it done even toght i knoe sometimes its not ryte. I learn from this book that trying your best on everything u do is the right way to do something.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 22, 1999
Format: Library Binding
This is a great book. It is by far my sons favorite book and he has practically got it memorized by now! I started reading it to him when he was less than one year old and he could enjoy the over-large pictures and special sound effects if nothing else. One time when he was in his twos I accidentally stopped in the middle of a sentence to sneeze or something and I was astounded to hear him finish the sentence for me! I tested him and discovered that he knew the last word of just about every phrase and sentence. Since then it's been a game with us where I start the sentence and he finishes it. Donald Crews has a prose style that is well adapted to this kind of memory game, it is rhythmic, somewhat repetitive and driving - like the train itself. We are fortunate to live in Japan where a busy train track runs near our house. Thus he has developed a love of trains from birth and the book and real life can interact and reinforce each other. I feel sorry for kids who can't experience trains in their daily life, but this book goes a long ways towards filling the gap. My hats off -- and my warmest thanks go -- to Donald Crews for a wonderful experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book. I am an artist, so I especially appreciated the illustrations, which are beautiful as well as exciting to look at! The illustrations and story combine to make it seem like a real-time adventure, as though you are really there with the children. My four-year-old loves this book. We have had many interesting conversations about the reactions of the children to their adventure, and why they did the things they did. For example, why were the children scared? What did they do when they were afraid? Should they have listened to their Mama? Etc. We were first introduced to it by checking it out at our library, and now I am going to purchase it for us. You will enjoy this book alot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
The thing I like about it is that it tells people not to use short cut to go somewhere.It helps me by saying that if we use shortcut we can get lost and if we got in danger no one will come to help thats why I like this book.

I don't like it because in pictures they didn't show all the details and they did not took good example of pictures to explain the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
I enjoy reading this book because it was interesting how the kids wanted to take the shortcut home, even toght ther knew it was not safe. The story reminded me of how sometimes when im doing homework i wanted to get it done even toght i knoe sometimes its not ryte. I learn from this book that trying your best on everything u do is the right way to do something.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
I enjoy reading this book because it was interesting how the kids wanted to take the shortcut home, even toght ther knew it was not safe. The story reminded me of how sometimes when im doing homework i wanted to get it done even toght i knoe sometimes its not ryte. I learn from this book that trying your best on everything u do is the right way to do something.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on January 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
The cover largely sums this book up. A group of kids, coming home at night, think they'll take the shortcut home. You know - the shortcut? Over the train tracks? Sure, they're not supposed to, but nobody will ever know, right? What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

This is apparently based upon an actual incident from Mr. Crews' life. I can believe it - the kids in the book laugh and giggle and joke and do just about everything *but* concentrate on getting home safe and sound. (That's how they ended up so late they decided to take a shortcut in the first place, I suppose.) And they got a valuable lesson - lucky nobody ended up hurt!

This story might be a bit scary for some younger children. Consider your kid before you read it. (For that matter, it might be scary for some adults!) But if your kid will read it, it's a very exciting story with a clear and obvious moral - sometimes, there's REALLY a good reason you're not supposed to do something, so don't be stupid.
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