by Lehman, Barbara

Youngsters are invited to take a magical train ride where there is always something new-and strange-to see! By the creator of The Red Book. 35,000 first printing.

Barbara Lehman has illustrated many books for children. Born in Chicago, Barbara attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she earned a BFA in communication design. A full-time illustrator, Barbara says, "Books and art have always held the strongest attraction for me. I have always felt drawn to 'commercial art' because of its ability to reach many people. I like the idea of being part of the media in a meaningful and thoughtful way, especially with children as the audience." She now lives in Philmont, New York.

As in previous picture books, including the Caldecott Honor Book The Red Book (2004), Lehman's spare, inviting artwork tells a wordless story about a child's daydream. Panels in shifting sizes show a little girl boarding a train with her parents and gazing out the windows at a gray city. After the train enters a tunnel, and the windows darken, the girl's imagination fills in the view. Suddenly, a summer meadow appears, the train makes a stop, and the girl disembarks into a crowd of Lilliputian folk, who lead her to a pint-size aviator lodged, along with his glider, in a small tree. The girl rescues the tiny fellow and returns to the train, leaving the green world behind. Back in the city, she follows her parents home, but a surprise visit from her miniature friends continues her whimsical dream. Once again, Lehman's spacious, boldly outlined pictures tell a deceptively simple story that demands repeated visits as it seemlessly captures a child's joyful wandering between reality and imagined play. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

A little girl takes a fantastical train trip in this wordless outing from the creator of other such cozily surreal offerings as The Red Book (2004) and Rainstorm (2007). Gray city yields to perfect green countryside, the magical transition signaled by a four-panel sequence that finds the girl looking out the window at the passing city and the black blur of a tunnel and then, looking back in from the outside, her delighted face. A signalman stops the train, and she alights into a landscape inhabited by wee, toy-sized people. Lehman employs the visual language of serial storytelling in masterly fashion, framing her initial panels within the curvature of the train window; as the adventure expands, scenes outside the train appear within square panels or bleed to the edges of the page, allowing the protagonist and her teensy new friends limitless freedom. After rescuing a Lilliputian pilot from a tree, the little girl re-boards the train and heads back to the city-to which comes unexpected color with the gift of a tiny tree, delivered by a familiar toy plane. Comfortably mind-bending. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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