Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Locomotive by Brian Floca

Age Range: 4 - 10 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 5
Lexile Measure: 840L
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
Published: September 3, 2013
Honors: Caldecott Medal Winner, Sibert Honor Book

Book summary from Amazon:
It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.

My Review:
Brian Floca’s Locomotive is an excellent nonfiction choice for kids. There are a lot of illustrations in this book, and the detail is amazing. This book is written in narrative- verse form.

The details about locomotives are fun, and informative—without being too overwhelming. The amount of illustrations and the detail of them makes this book an excellent nonfiction book for kids, it doesn’t feel like a “traditional” non-fiction book. The image below is an example of how detailed with the little thing Floca is:

There are a ton of words in this this book which does kind of make it a chore to read aloud, but because of the illustrations and the fun verse format the kids love to hear it, and like to just look through it on their own at times.

  My older readers like the history and map in the front of the book, and the detailed illustration and information on the steam engine on the inside of the back cover.

There is one issue I could potentially see for the illustrations in this book—cursive writing:
In several places Floca uses cursive writing in several illustrations, this is potentially problematic for future children because cursive isn’t really taught in schools these days, and cursive is really becoming a dying art.

Overall my youngest nephew and I really enjoyed this book—so much that he got it for his birthday.