Author: Peter Sis
The train of states is rolling by --
rush to the window and watch it go!
The very first car? The very first state: Delaware, of course, followed
by Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia ... fifty in all.
The caboose? Washington, D.C.!
Look closely! What do you see?
State birds, state flowers, state trees ... forty-three presidents! Can
you find them all?
Can you spot the flags, heroes, animals, and landmarks adorning the train
Clickety clack, clickety clack.
Rush out the door, rush to the track.
Where is the train going? Come along!
Over the prairie, over the mountains, down a green valley, and into a billowing
It's time for a party -- it's time to celebrate the fifty states!
|From Publishers Weekly
"Uncle Sam conducts the patriotic engine of this line of 50 railroad cars
(one per state), and Washington, D.C., brings up the rear as caboose. Czechoslovakian-born
Sis combines his love for his adopted country (his home for more than two decades)
with his admiration for antique circus wagons (from an introductory note). The
cars appear chronologically, according to their date of statehood. Readers will
pore over the unique design of each, which incorporates the state's flag, motto,
nickname and the genesis of its name, as well as labeled images of the state
tree, flower and bird. Underneath the cars, Sis lists the state capital, then
repeats the state tree, flower and bird, adding a piece of trivia (e.g., 'In
Barrow, Alaska's northernmost point, the sun doesn't set for 84 days during the
summer months'). Given the prescribed space allotted to each state, the duplication
of some of these facts comes at the expense of additional information. But the
wagons teem with interesting details (explained in an endnote); they include
miniature portraits of presidents or other celebrities who hail from the state
(Ben Franklin tops the Pennsylvania circus wagon), milestones (Ohio had the first
professional baseball team; women could first vote in Wyoming) and relevant symbols
(Mount Rushmore for South Dakota). Sis' signature fine black line limns entire
vignettes while his watercolor wash adds depth and perspective. He gives both
youngsters hungry for state facts and those casting about for unusual historical
morsels ample reason to climb aboard this festive train. Ages 6-up. (Sept.)" Publishers
Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)