Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Friday, January 28, 2011
The Last Train by Gordon Titcomb, paintings by Wendell Minor
Sometimes, a children's picture book tugs at your memories, as well as your heart. The beautiful book, The Last Train does that for me. Gordon Titcomb, a composer and musician wrote the words, and the paintings are by Wendell Minor. And, if you're anything like me, The Last Train will take you back home.
The book tells the story of a small Midwestern town where the freight trains came through. The story is told by the grandson of a railroad man, and the son of one, as he looks back on his childhood memories of the trains and the melancholy sounds. That town lost the trains when the last freight train went through, and the narrator has a box full of memories. It's a story of imagination and memory.
And, Minor's illustrations are gorgeous, capturing the trains, the Midwest, and the people who worked on those trains. But, don't take my word for it. If you love trains, take the time to watch the video trailer, hear the haunting music and song by Gordon Titcomb, and watch those illustrations come to life.
Does it bring back memories? There was nothing I enjoyed more as a child than lying in bed in the upstairs bedroom at my grandparents', listening to the sound of the train at night. And, now, when I return to my mother's in Ohio, I can hear the trains go through my hometown. I showed the book to a co-worker, who said her grandfather worked in the depot, and she and her brother used to be able to go out on the rails on the small car with the men when they repaired the tracks. Her face lit up when she talked about the depot. I loved trains so much that a friend's family gave me an electric train when I was in high school.
The Last Train isn't just a picture book to share with small boys who like trains. This is a trip through the past to share with anyone who remembers trains with longing, and love. It's a trip back to our childhood.