Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Locomotive

Author/Illustrator: Brian Floca
Publisher: Atheneum (September 3, 2013)
Source: Copy from Publisher
Audience: 2nd to 5th graders
History * 19th Century United States * Locomotives

Description from GoodReads:
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!

My thoughts on this book:
Recently, I had the chance to hear Brian Floca speak at the SCIBA Children's Breakfast.  Floca's newest book is about trains, specifically steam engine locomotives.  Readers experience the first transcontinental journey made by the crew and families, as this iron horse travels across the country. 

During his speech at the breakfast, Floca shared with the audience about the making of the book.  He spoke about his own travels across the country to stop at locations where the train would have made stops.  Many of these are identified in the book.  He shared about the various primary and secondary sources he researched in order to bring this story to life. And through photographs, the audience also had the chance to watch Floca's creative process and how each step from sketches to ink drawings to watercolor paintings brought the book one step closer to the book we can now hold in our hands.

Trains hold a fascination for many.  Young children love stories about trains, watching a train barrel down a track, or riding on a train at a local park. Many of these children grow up to still maintain the fascination and interest in trains.  The brilliance of Locomotive is that it makes readers feel like they are right there from the first "ring of hammers on spikes" to the incredible attention to detail that is within each illustration to the types of fonts used to emphasize specific words and phrases. 

Floca has another winner on his hands with Locomotive.  Look for a copy of this book at your public library or local independent bookstore and experience the magic of trains.
More information about Brian Flocawebsite | blog | facebook | twitter | YouTube

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