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New Baby Train Hardcover – September 15, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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 Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown Young Readers; First Edition edition (September 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316072036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316072038
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.4 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,521,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lovely illustrations accompany this fantastic tune by the quintessential American Folk Songwriter, Woody Guthrie. My mother was so in love with this book that she had me purchase multiple copies so that she could share them as gifts for all my sisters.
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Format: Hardcover
Woody Guthrie is the source of a countless new picture books every single year. It's as if the man was some kind of a bottomless source of material, long after his folksinging days. I guess this makes sense. Friend and fellow activist Pete Seeger is responsible for some of the best picture books out there today, so why not take Guthrie's already family friendly child song fare and make it palatable to the children of the 21st century? It's probably just a matter of time before Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Joni Mitchell do the same. But until Ani DiFranco starts getting in on the act, let's examine one of Guthrie's lesser-known songs. It's a fun little conceit but also a harmless little bit of fluff that won't stick in your brain much longer than a reading or two.

Where do babies come from? Well, sir, that's a mighty fine question. If it were asked in seriousness we'd have to go pull out a copy of "Where Willy Went" by Nicholas Allan. Fortunately, it is not and we instead watch a floppy-hatted guitar-strumming kid rhapsodizing on the subject. "The flowers bring some, the trees bring some, the birds bring some, the cars bring some...". One of the most amusing ways they might come, however, is via a kind of new baby train. In his mind, the narrator sees himself catching such a train and finding it filled with babies ready to go to new homes. When the conductor tells the boy to hop on board, he meets the infants already there and enjoys the ride. The boy and babies sing together, partake of some especially tasty bottles, and nap a little while. By the end, every baby has found its place, including one that's just come home with the boy.

I have to say, illustrator Marla Frazee knows how to pick 'em.
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Format: Hardcover
"You know, a lot of people ask me,
I bet you'd like to know,
'How do brand-new babies
get into this house?'" -- from the book

Written by famed folk singer Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) and illustrated by Marla Frazee, New Baby Train is a simplistic book theorizing where babies come from: why, the New Baby Train, of course!

My son loves trains AND babies, so I thought New Baby Train would be a perfect book for him. Indeed, he was overjoyed with my pick and I read it to him last night. In fact, he chose this book over his brand new Thomas the Tank Engine Christmas book (which surprised me)!

The illustrations are chalky, muted tones of mostly sepia tones (brown, gray, black, dirty white, muddy green, etc.) and the story isn't particularly clever in my opinion. In fact, the thought had crossed my mind that the only reason this book got published was because of the popularity of the author!

However, there is great detailing on the train illustrations, so young train enthusiasts will LOVE seeing the train from different perspectives--including whooshing down a steep hill! Many of the illustrations are downright amusing, such as diaper-clad babies drinking bottles in the dining car while the waiter--with towel properly draped over his arm--serves a tray of bottles to the passengers.

Fans of trains and babies will no doubt love this book. It's a short read as a bed time story and the subdued colors are a nice change of pace from most of the storybooks that scream with psychedelic hues these days.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a magnificent night time story for young and old. A celebration of babies and sweetness beyond compare. Each baby pictured is sweeter than the the one before. Particularly perfect for adopted children, as the storyline features and pictures babies of every color, shape and size. The ultimate destination for these sweethearts is the arms of a loving family. My grandchildren squeal to have someone read this family celebration of love. It's my favorite children's bedtime story. Can't recommend it enough.
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