William H. Hooks The Mighty Santa Fe

ISBN 13: 9780027444322

The Mighty Santa Fe

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9780027444322: The Mighty Santa Fe

William is in despair at having to leave his beloved train set at home and spend Christmas Eve with his frighteningly frail great-grandmother, until Granny Blue leads him to the attic and introduces him to the mighty Santa Fe.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Triumphantly meshing the realistic and the magical, Hooks ( The Three Little Pigs and the Fox ; The Legend of the White Doe ) tells of a boy who is very unhappy when he can't bring his train set to his great-grandmother's house on Christmas Eve. The true-to-life aspects of the tale are evident from the opening page, when a sulking William intentionally kicks the back of his siblings' seat in the car, instigating an all-too-recognizable verbal exchange. At last they arrive at the house of Granny Blue, an eccentric, wizened matriarch, who--like William--is wearing a train conductor's hat. The boy almost forgets about his beloved train set during the evening's festivities, which include an indoor "winter picnic" after a snowstorm knocks out the power. Hooks deftly slips the fantastic into his tale when, long after bedtime, Granny Blue awakens William and leads him up to the attic. Here she utters a chant and lifts a sheet covering an old-fashioned village. A train pulls up, and the two climb aboard, embarking on a thrilling ride "through wind and rain, and sun and snow." Thomas's wondrously detailed watercolors masterfully convey the various moods of this inventive holiday tale--and affectingly portray a special cross-generational bond. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Ages 5-8. William sulks in the back of the minivan, dreading a Christmas spent with girl cousins, a slightly frightening great-grandmother, and, worst of all, no train set. As the family festivities get underway amid a power outage, William reluctantly warms to the candlelit event. And when Great Granny Blue (who sports an engineer's cap) awakens him in the middle of the night and leads him to the attic, he discovers to his delight that she shares his enthusiasm for model trains. Together they board the old Lionel and speed through snow-covered mountains, sunburned deserts, and waving wheat fields. Is it a journey of imagination, dream, or magic? Readers are free to supply their own answers, but it is certain that William comes away from the Christmas celebration with Granny's gift of a very real old Santa Fe engine and a firm friendship with his elderly relative. Richly detailed paintings convey a strong sense of family warmth. Thomas also depicts a less comforting side to holiday gatherings that may be familiar to many youngsters--deep shadows in an infrequently visited house, a crowd of too many adults and cousins, haphazard sleeping arrangements, and the bleary-eyed and only half-appreciated excitement of Christmas morning. Elizabeth Bush

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William H. Hooks
Published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (1993)
ISBN 10: 0027444325 ISBN 13: 9780027444322
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Hooks, William H.
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