Go West!: The Great North American Railroad Adventure | Book Review
The Children’s Book Review | September 19, 2019
Written and illustrated by Pascal Blanchet
Age Range: 7-10
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions (2018)
What to Expect: Trains, cities, and history
It is difficult for any child not to feel a fascination for trains: their sleek design, their speed, and the complex engineering that makes them work. These days, however, unless you live in a city, trains are not all that common within the United States. It may be surprising, therefore, to learn that trains played a significant role in US history and continue to be important to travel and commerce in the modern world. Go West! explores the history of the railway in North American from 1830 to the present, at the same time taking readers on an exciting journey west across this vast continent.
Go West! starts in 1836 with the Dorchester Locomotive in Montreal, and concludes its journey 14 stops later, at Union Station in Los Angeles, where the Academy Awards are hosted annually. Along the way readers are shown the development of different engines from the “golden age of rail travel”, as well as some of the mechanics of rail travel: the development of a ticketing system, for example, or how a locomotive’s engine works. At the same time, the volume is packed with information about the cities it visits on route: New York, Chicago, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, and many others. The volume is lavishly illustrated with original artwork in the Art Deco style which beautifully evokes the age of rail expansion and exploration. For any child who cannot get enough of trains and railways, this volume would make a beautiful gift.
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About the Author-Illustrator
Author-illustrator PASCAL BLANCHET was born in Trois-Rivières in 1980 and now lives in Montreal. He has a strong interest in 20th-century design, architecture, jazz, and graphic novels, which is reflected in his style of art. A self-taught illustrator, he has produced artwork for American and Canadian newspapers and magazines, with clients including Penguin Books, The San Francisco magazine, The New Yorker, and The National Post.
Go West!: The Great North American Railroad Adventure was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Go West!: The Great North American Railroad Adventure by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with American History, Trains, and Transportation.