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Written & illustrated by Brian Floca
Published by Atheneum
4.75 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.1 / 5.0
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used $4.30
Sep 3, 2013
Publication Date
Target Age

What's Locomotive About

Publisher Summary

All aboard! From the creator of the “stunning” (Booklist) Moonshot, a rich and detailed sensory exploration of America’s early railroads. It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean. Come hear the hiss of the steam, feel the heat of the engine, watch the landscape race by. Come ride the rails, come cross the young country!

What Kind of Book is Locomotive

Quotes from Locomotive

  • “Up in the cab–small as a closet, hot as a kitchen, it smells of smoke, hot metal, and oil.”
  • “It’s hard work, hot work, smoke and cinders, ash and sweat, hard work, hot work–but that’s a fireman’s life.”
  • “The hours and miles roll by. The country opens, opens wide, empty as an ocean.”
  • “Here covered wagons used to crawl, foot by foot, mile by mile, heading into the west.”
  • “If the chicken tastes like prairie dog, don’t ask why.”

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
4.25 / 7.0

This book is beautiful… but it’s just SO long, and there’s not much story to it, just a very detailed account of how a train ride would be from one end of the line to the other.

Readerly Mom
Bay Area mother of two, world traveler, book lover, picky reader
5.25 / 7.0

There are a lot of words in this book, and that’s usually a big turn-off for me (my kids are pretty little and have correspondingly little attention spans), but it’s not a problem with this book. The artwork is incredible, and even if I need to skim through the words, it’s still a great read.

Book Lists That Include Locomotive

Book Topics › vehicles
Children's Books About Vehicles
Book Topics › caldecott
Captivating Caldecott Children's Books
Book Topics › America
Children's Books About America
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Who Wrote Locomotive

author & illustrator
Brian Floca

<p>Brian Floca was born and raised in Temple, Texas. He attended college at Brown University, where he double majored in art and history, cartooned for the school newspaper, and took classes down College Hill at the Rhode Island School of Design. <br>One of his instructors at RISD was author and illustrator David Macaulay, who introduced him to author Avi. That led to a collaboration with Avi and editor Richard Jackson on the graphic novel <i>City of Light, City of Dark</i>. From there, he went on to illustrate additional stories by Avi and other authors, to continue studying art (including an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York), and to write and illustrate books of his own.</p><p>Brian’s books include <i>Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11</i>, Avi’s <i>Poppy and Ereth</i>, Patricia MacLachlan’s <i>The True Gift</i>, and, <i>Ballet For Martha</i>, a picture book by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. He’s working now on his next book as author and illustrator. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.</p>

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Book Details

Publication Date:
September 3, 2013
Text Details:
The text for this book is set in Scotch Roman MT.
Illustration Details:
The illustrations for this book are rendered in watercolor, ink, acrylic, and gouache.
Word Count:
Library of Congress Number (LCCN):
WorldCat Number (OCLC):
Lexile® Level:
Scholastic Level:
ATOS® Book Level:
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Core Score - 96%
So, SO close to perfection!
Depth Score - 21%
Just the barebones.
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