The story of Clickety Clack – A Children’s book starts as the little black train goes from station to station, Driver Zach picks up more and more silly passengers. Everything’s fine when the cars are just full of talking yaks and singing acrobats. But then two packs of elephant board the train and then ducks are dancing in the aisles! This is enough to create pure mayhem. But Driver Zach is a very patient man, until a pair of pesky little mice climbs on board and then everything really goes haywire!
Clickety Clack – A Children’s book is buoyant and full of childlike fun. This is the first book for the husband-and-wife authors Rob and Amy Spence as well as the illustrator Margaret Spengler. The story takes a simple premise and goes full steam ahead. Cumulative verse introduces a train’s posse of passengers, all of them noisy: “”Elephants stomp in two big packs/ And the troupe of ducks goes quack quack quack/ While dancing around the acrobats/ Who sing on the cars with talking yaks,/ And a red caboose is in the back/ Of the little black train going down the track./ Clickety clack, clickety clack.”” Mayhem threatens when two mischievous mice light fireworks on the roof of the caboose. But Driver Zach quickly restores order (and quiet) by telling everyone to “”pipe down”” or “”we’ll change our tack./ We’ll stop going forward… and we’ll head right back.”” Spengler, having made the most of the passengers’ high jinx, brings fun even into the silencing sequence. The ducks hold wings to beaks, as if whispering “”Shh!”” and the assembly appears just to be biding time until the next uproar (the final scene shows a third prankish mouse scrambling to join the train). The deeply saturated colors recall the intensity of Robert Bender’s illustrations, but the lines are looser, and the compositions have their own puckish sensibility. Kids will enjoy the good-natured decrescendo just as much as the invitation to turn up the volume.
The illustrations in Clickety Clack – A Children’s book are beautiful and Rob and Amy Spence’s prose make the story come alive. Your kids will love listening and finally reading this book.