Atheneum Books (2013)
Reviewed by Grayce Richardson (age 10) for Reader Views (07/14)
Clang, clang. Chug, chug. Bang, Hiss, Clack. “Locomotive” by Brian Floca is a book that talked about all of the stages of the railroad...how it was made and how if too much water boiled in the steam engine the train would explode! The book took the reader across the country as the railroads were being built. It started in Omaha, Nebraska and ended in San Francisco, California. I really liked the detail and how the book would rhyme every now and then. The book even included a typical menu for travelers, like buffalo steak, antelope chops and chicken stew. It was also funny at times. For example, “If the chicken tastes like prairie dog, don’t ask why.”
The illustrations in “Locomotive” were amazing and they really captured what the experience would be like when the train was the main transportation. The back of the book showed a very detailed drawing of a steam engine and how steam was used to power the early trains, also called “iron horses.”
While “Locomotive” by Brian Floca was suggested for 8 – 12 year old kids, I would recommend this book for four to eight year olds, and any kids who want to be engineers. It's also good to read out loud with a parent and take turns making the sounds of the train. Chuga chuga, choo choo!