Railroad John and the Red Rock Run
Today is the day Lonesome Bob is set to marry Wildcat Annie. The wedding ceremony begins at two o’clock in Red Rock and Wildcat Annie waits for no one.
“I’ve driven this train for forty years, and we’ve never been late once yet!” Railroad John says proudly, as Lonesome Bob and Granny Apple Fritter board the train for Red Rock. But Bad Bill and his outlaw gang are waiting up around the bend and a fierce thunderstorm kicks up. Now the Sagebrush Flyer train and Lonesome Bob are twenty-two minutes behind schedule! Can Granny Apple Fritter’s Hard-Shell Chili-Pepper-Corn-Pone Muffins help save the day?
“Crunk’s original tall tale gets a big boost from Austin’s unusual and exuberant illustrations. Using acrylics in sepia tones, he manages to capture the look and feel of daguerreotypes, right down to the crinkly borders. His characters are bizarrely proportioned and amusingly cartoonish, and almost every scene is viewed from an unconventional and often slightly disorienting angle, which extends the words’ action and exaggeration.”
“Austin’s characters are sculpturesque, and even the engine has an engaging personality. The scene of an astonished cow flying past the train, eyes popping, adds an exclamation point to the jaunty visuals.”
— Children’s Literature
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
“Austin’s sepia-toned acrylics amplify the energy, drama and hyperbolic humor of Crunk’s rollickin’, rail-ridin’ romp. The sight of Wildcat Annie doing a handstand on her horse’s saddle as she rides up to the chapel will draw a hoot from readers. In an intriguing finale, an illustration depicts a boy playing with an old-fashioned model train in an attic filled with items found in the book’s artwork. Kids will eagerly climb aboard for repeat rides.”
— Publishers Weekly
“The exaggerated acrylic illustrations spur on the outlandishness with offbeat sepia tintype images, giddy perspectives and clever compositions.”
— Kirkus Reviews