Vivid images in both poem and paintings create a close-up view of a freight train traveling through a crossing a dramatic experience for young readers. With the rhythm of its words recalling the cadence of a moving freight train, a poem by Philip Booth is fluidly joined with artwork by first-time illustrator Bagram Ibatoulline in this majestic picture book. Ibatoulline's dramatic and masterful paintings capture the American freight train in its heyday in astonishing detail. CROSSING promises to enthrall train enthusiasts of all ages.
Philip Booth is a Fellow of the Academy of American Poets and has been honored by Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. The poem Crossing appeared in his first book, Letter from a Distant Land. Of his inspiration for the poem, he says, I grew up in White River Junction, Vermont, where the White River and the Connecticut River come together. Many, many trains come down the river valley, traveling from Montreal to Boston, on to New Haven and beyond. The real crossing of this poem, though, is in Brunswick, Maine. Bagram Ibatoulline (pronounced Ebattoo LEEN) was born in Russia and graduated from the State Academic Institute of Arts in Moscow. He has worked in fine arts, graphic arts, mural design, and textile design. CROSSING is Bagram Ibatoulline's first picture book.