Verónica Betancourt (Children's Literature)
A train makes its journey across the pages of this book, providing young readers the opportunity to learn the names of the cars and to practice counting skills. The text is spare, giving a minimum of description so that the illustrations are responsible for conveying the experience of a train passing by. While spare, the story is simple and poetic in English, however, the Spanish translation loses this poetry. The names of the trains lack the alliteration found in English, and the verbs are not chosen with care to preserve the feeling of locomotion. The careless translation is sometimes incorrect. Crews won the Caldecott for this book and the airbrush illustrations are the strongest element of the story; they remain graphic and exciting and are not overwhelmed by the Spanish text added to this bilingual edition. This book is perfect for teaching about transportation, or for learning colors, but it is better in English and lackluster in Spanish. 2003 (orig. 1978), Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Publishers Inc, $15.99. Ages 3 to 6.
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