10 May


written and illustrated by Brian Floca

Caldecott Medal winner (2014)

 This year’s Caldecott Medal winner was Locomotive by Brian Floca. This picture book takes the reader on a realistic adventure on a train from Omaha, Nebraska to Sacramento, California in 1869 at the completion of the transcontinental railroad. The end pages of this masterpiece are educational bits of history and engineering. The story within the end pages is factual and engaging. It begins with the building of the railroad then quickly has the reader standing on a platform looking for the train that will take a small family west to see their father. The artwork transports the reader into the mid 1800’s. Even the text becomes art incorporated onto each page. Readers are treated to a close-up look at the workings of a train as they huff and puff along the tracks. Looking out a window, the reader see the landscape changes as the train chugs full steam ahead. But you might not want to look when the train is crossing the trestle over Dale Creek! The reader experiences train stops in different cities and gets a taste of the menu offered at the railway stations. Not a single detail is left out, sleeping cars are explored for those who could afford it, the 1000 mile tree marks the distance traveled, and there is even a view of the toilet used on the trip. Just before the train arrives at the halfway point in its trip, it goes through dark mountain tunnels blasted away by black powder and nitroglycerin. From there it’s all downhill to the end of the line.

2 Responses to “Locomotive”

  1. Patricia Tilton May 12, 2014 at 11:51 PM #

    I want this book! I need to purchase it. Just know our granddaughter is going to present us with a boy. And, I want to collect good boy books.


    • Juliana Lee May 13, 2014 at 8:42 AM #

      It is so wonderful! I can see why it won the Caldecott, but truthfully, it could have won a Newbery as well!


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