Young train enthusiasts will enjoy C is For Caboose, a new ABC book focusing on the historical development of trains. Parents and grandparents will love it too when they see the clearly reproduced archival photographs. Unlike some recent ABC books with lots of detail, C is for Caboose keeps the text simple, to match the limited attention spans of its young, transportation inspired audience. Addressing many unique aspects of the railway, there are several fascinating photos of the railway including a dining car, hospital car and even a school car! In addition to the black and white photographs and advertising posters, Steve Vance’s colorful “retro” artwork spices up the page layout. The quiz on the back is a fun ending and will probably inspire children to create quizzes of their own. Unfortunately, the book lacks a timeline and historical dates, which could have been easily added as endnotes in addition to the photo credits. On the whole, C is for Caboose hits its target audience right on the head with a pleasing layout that encourages questions and stimulates the imagination to travel back in time. This book is sure to please both young listeners and adult readers.
Author: Traci Todd
Illustrator: Sara Gillingham
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2007
Reviewer: Kristine Wildner, Holy Apostles School, New Berlin, WI