Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Train They Call the City of New Orleans

This book is an illustrated version of a song written by Steve Goodman, and made popular by Arlo Guthrie. The illustrations are done in scratchboard (looks like linoleum block) by Michael McCurdy.

My 5-year-old pulled this book off the shelves, enchanted by the big train on the front cover. The illustrations are fabulous throughout, and seem very true to the text. Unfortunately, the song lyrics did little to captivate my young literary critic. As much as we enjoyed the maps, and the absorbing pictures of life along the rail line, we were both kind of relieved when we came to the end of the book. The Train They Call the City of New Orleans is not really a children's song, and, while this is a devoted rendering of the song, it did not strike me as a children's book. -- Juno

1 comment:

  1. Juno:

    I'm contacting you not to have a comment posted on your blog but to thank you for reviewing "The Train They Call the City of New Orleans." I appreciate your honesty and understand your view. There is a version of the book with an audio complement by Tom Chapin, and that may work better, or this may be one of those books that grows with the child and he/she grows.

    Mainly, I'm glad to see you mention Steve Goodman. He often doesn't get his due. I have just finished an eight-year project, a biography of Goodman that will be published in April. If you e-mail me directly at, I will gladly send you a background sheet on the project.

    All best,

    Clay Eals
    1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
    Seattle, WA 98116-1958

    (206) 935-7515