The beloved song by the legendary folk singer is adapted to this picture book that provides an imaginative answer to the oft-asked question of Where do babies come from? The singsong story is accompanied by vintage illustrations. Full color.
"PreS-Gr. 1. A set of recently discovered lyrics by America's favorite troubadour, presented here without music, postulates a whimsical alternative to the stork-special-delivery school of reproductive thought. I guess little babies come along just about any way they can, Guthrie muses--though he prefers to imagine them chugging home aboard the new baby train. Guthrie's verses are as ramblin' as their nomadic originator, and these don't translate to print as well as the far better known This Land Is Your Land did in Kathy Jakobsen's 1998 book. But Frazee finds spark to ignite her imagination in Guthrie's words, unfolding a visual tall tale about a youngster who hitches a ride aboard the train to soothe its infant passengers. Flecked brown paper imparts a Dust Bowl atmosphere, and backgrounds rendered with powerful horizontal strokes suggest the blurred view through a train's window. Press this upon adoptive families, who will particularly appreciate the notion of babies on a whistle-stop tour of welcoming households. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2004 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Even when the characters are simply lazing on a front porch, Frazee's pictures hum with energy and possibility, in this free-form Guthrie reverie. Her elegant ink striations add texture to the compositions and enhance the understated dynamism of the guitar-toting boy narrator, who "reveals" the origins of babies. "I guess little babies come along/ just about any way they can./ Cars, trucks, tractors, airplanes,/ any way they can come./ But here's the way they might come.../ on a train./ Sort of a new baby train!" As a tribute to Guthrie's role as the Okie balladeer, Frazee conjures a romanticized Dust Bowl-era setting. She employs an impressive array of brown tones and blue accents to create a landscape that feels expansive rather than oppressive; her characters look scrappy, but never dispossessed. The narrator and a trio of tots hitch a ride on the crowded baby train as it swoops through the land, making deliveries of infants to grateful farm couples (the final stop is the boy's own family). Here, as in her Roller Coaster, Frazee rewards the audience with wonderful visual details: A sign on the train's coal car shows a howling baby with the red "No" slash through it; one diapered passenger calmly reads a newspaper to pass the time; a porter moves through the car handing out bottles of milk. Readers will concur with Guthrie that "everyone is gonna be so happy./ All these babies are goin' home." Ages 3-6. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved