From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1–Guthrie's song is brought to life by Frazee's gouache illustrations, which tell a story all their own. A guitar-playing narrator and his younger siblings sit together on their front porch, as the boy tries to explain where babies come from. The text reads, "I guess little babies come along/just about any way they can./Cars, trucks, tractors, airplanes,/any way they can come." In subsequent illustrations, the children dash off, wait for a train together, and watch as their brother climbs aboard. Babies also wait for the train and when it arrives, they line up, all sizes, shapes, and colors, with diapers dragging and tickets ready. The narrator tells their tale as the train races through hill and dale, clouds and sky, to deliver its cargo. On the way, the little ones are served bottles of milk, take naps, and then, one by one, are dropped off at their new homes. The boy brings the last one to his house, where the entire family welcomes the new arrival. The brown palette of the artwork and the clothing of the characters give this book a Depression-era look, while the technique of using lines to fill the backgrounds provides a constant sense of motion. Swirling clouds surround a train that doesn't need tracks and at times looks like it's flying to its destination. A fanciful and fun rendition.–Jane Marino, Bronxville Public Library, NY
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PreS-Gr. 1. A set of recently discovered lyrics by America's favorite troubadour, presented here without music, postulates a whimsical alternative to the stork-special-delivery school of reproductive thought. "I guess little babies come along just about any way they can," Guthrie muses--though he prefers to imagine them chugging home aboard the "new baby train." Guthrie's verses are as ramblin' as their nomadic originator, and these don't translate to print as well as the far better known "This Land Is Your Land" did in Kathy Jakobsen's 1998 book. But Frazee finds spark to ignite her imagination in Guthrie's words, unfolding a visual tall tale about a youngster who hitches a ride aboard the train to soothe its infant passengers. Flecked brown paper imparts a Dust Bowl atmosphere, and backgrounds rendered with powerful horizontal strokes suggest the blurred view through a train's window. Press this upon adoptive families, who will particularly appreciate the notion of babies on a whistle-stop tour of welcoming households. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved