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Crossing by Philip Booth


by Philip Booth

Other authors: Bagram Ibatoulline (Illustrator)

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A book that harkens back to a time when enjoyment was found from simple occurrences. A long freight train runs through a small town. As the townsfolk and children watch the trains and note the names on the outside, fun is had by all. Originally a poem for adults published in 1953. Obviously Booth found the poem, rendered it to a children's story, and when the wonderful illustrations of Ibatoulline are added, the parts become a marvelous whole! ( )
  Whisper1 | Jan 8, 2015 |
Stunning, vivid illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline for Booth's poem about watching a freight train go by. ( )
  Sullywriter | Aug 25, 2013 |
This is a primary poem with world class illustrations. It's full of train terminology, never a strong personal interst, expertly presented. I have to admit that when it came to this book, I was lost in the illustrations, completely swept away. ( )
  matthewbloome | May 19, 2013 |
It is always interesting when something from the past gets dug up and turns into a picture book. This was a poem first published in 1953 in a book of poetry for adults (though certainly accessible to children). Nearly fifty years later either Philip Booth saw it in a new light or someone else did and then,hand it to Bagram Ibatoulline and, voila! you have a really fantastic children's book.
The poem is about watching a freight train go by your small town with cars upon cars that speak of a much lager world. The text is fun for kids, but nowadays they don't necessarily know about Wabash, B&O, Rock Island and U.P., but the illustrations make it clear as we see the box cars, tank cars, cattle cars, coal cars and every other car go by. The illustrations set us on a dirt road of a small town in the 50's. The soft photo realism of Ibatoulline's paintings brings this moment of the trains' passing to stunning light. Grown-ups wait around in cars standing and sitting on benches for the long train to pass while kids leap and run around in wonder and excitement. The detail and precision of the paint invites prolonged staring; for me, at the textures , the brush strokes, the brilliant, yet subdued earth tones; for a child, at the details like a sleeping dog in the window, the numbers and words on the cars, the ladders, and wheels of the cars, the expressions on the faces, the one hundred cars on the track - count them! . The text is extremely sparse, but it takes a while to get through this book! A great book for the young train enthusiast. Eat real art Thomas the Tank engine! ( )
  brendanFK | Sep 29, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip Boothprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ibatoulline, BagramIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0763614203, Hardcover)

It's one of childhood's most time-honored pursuits: counting cars while waiting at a train crossing. Celebrated poet Philip Booth has captured its appeal and unmistakable cadence with precision and wit, backed by the vibrant, nostalgic illustrations of Moscow-trained first-timer Bagram Ibatoulline.

The poem "Crossing" first appeared in Booth's 1957 debut collection, Letters from a Distant Land, so parents and grandparents might have an easier time than kids recognizing some of these freight carriers: "B&M boxcar, / boxcar again, / Frisco gondola, / eight-nine-ten, /Erie and Wabash, Seaboard, U.P., / Pennsy tankcar, twenty-two, three." But the rhythms remain the same, and even if the automobiles stopped at the crossing look like they hail from Havana, kids still won't be able to keep from counting the tankers and boxcars on this old-time steam engine.

Booth still lives in his childhood home, and he's clearly hung onto that wide-eyed perspective in his fast, loose language. Lucky for us it's been preserved and revived--and even enriched, thanks to Ibatoulline--in this sweet and well-executed adaptation. (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:17 -0400)

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Rhyming words describe the sights and sounds of a train crossing.

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