“The classic tale from beloved children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown is given a fresh look but loses its storyline.”
Readers follow the cross country journey of two trains, a sleek, modern bullet train and a traditional steam engine train. The two trains journey west across long steel tracks as they puff and chug through a variety of settings: over a bridge, through a tunnel, and up a mountainside. In one of the few instances of rhyming in the story, they also “got white and furry” though “still in a hurry” as they travel through a snowstorm. There are reflective notes, like “Look down that long steel track / where you and I must go; / that long steel track and strong cross bars, / before we travel home,” though the text is changed to refer to an “old man singing in the West” rather than “a black man singing in the West.” Pizzoli’s illustrations are playful and abstract, created using custom rubber stamps. While modern and fun, they also greatly change a reader’s understanding of the story from the original 1949 illustrations by two-time Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillon, which parallel an actual train’s journey and a toy train’s journey. In Pizzoli’s depiction, the story seems lacking in a substantive storyline, making it an actual but confusing, almost pointless journey of an old and a new train to the West that Pizzoli terminates in the middle of a desert.
“Skillfully designed and composed, Pizzoli’s cheerful interpretation is thoroughly modern and charming. Swoonworthy for train lovers and preschoolers alike.” ―Kirkus (starred review)
The classic picture book from Margaret Wise Brown about two trains and their cross-country journey from east to west, with a bold new look from Geisel Award–winning artist Greg Pizzoli.
Two little trains went down the track,
Two little trains went West.
PUFF PUFF PUFF
CHUG CHUG CHUG
Two little trains to the West.
A streamlined train and a little old train journey through hills and over mountains, crossing rivers and plains, in this treasured story from Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon. Reimagined with bold and vibrant art by Geisel Award–winning artist Greg Pizzoli, this updated edition is perfect for fans of things that go.
Makes for a great baby shower gift!
Margaret Wise Brown is one of the most popular children’s authors of all time; her classic Goodnight Moon (HarperFestival), illustrated by Clement Hurd, has sold more than 24 million copies, and her books—including Big Red Barn (Harper Festival), The Runaway Bunny (HarperCollins), and The Golden Egg Book (Simon & Schuster)—have been in print for over 50 years. Several generations have grown up with her timeless stories and her influence has been felt around the world. (Bio via Sterling Fall 2018 Catalog.)
Greg Pizzoli is an author, an illustrator, and a printmaker. His picture books include The Watermelon Seed; Good Night Owl; Tricky Vic; and North, South, East, West, which was also written by Margaret Wise Brown. When not traveling on trains, he can be found at home in Philadelphia with his wife, their dog, and two cats. Visit him at www.gregpizzoli.com.
for Ed Emberley