Cover image for Clickety clack
Clickety clack
Spence, Robert, III.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 26 cm
A train gets noisier and more crowded as quacking ducks, dancing acrobats, talking yaks, and packs of elephants board.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.5 0.5 63488.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.3 1 Quiz: 26507 Guided reading level: J.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Concord Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Elma Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Marilla Free Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Williamsville Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Audubon Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Central Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books

On Order



"The cars are full of talking yaks, And a red caboose is in the back Of the little black train going down the track. Clickety clack, clickety clack." 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 adding two packs of elephants-not to mention the ducks dancing in the aisles!-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!

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-6. In this delightful cumulative tale, a little black train picks up a group of boisterous passengers at each stop. Talking yaks and tumbling acrobats, quacking ducks and stomping elephants make for a noisy ride, but it is the two mischievous mice who light fireworks, who prompt Driver Zach to make this threat: "If you don't pipe down, we'll change our tack. We'll stop going forward . . . and we'll head right back." The passengers take heed, and soon the only sound is the clickety clack of the train's wheels on the railroad track. The lively text, filled with repetition and rhyme, begs to be read aloud; and Spengler's double-page illustrations provide plenty of visual excitement with bright colors and unusual perspectives. Pair this with June Crebbin's The Train Ride (1995), an equally charming story with a similar rhyming text that is also just right for this age group. --Lauren Peterson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Buoyant and full of childlike fun, this first book for the husband-and-wife authors as well as the illustrator 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 cabooseÄbut 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 jinks, 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. Ages 4-8. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-The Spences build their story around tried-and-true motifs. As "A little black train goes down the track./Clickety clack, clickety clack," more and more passengers are added, … la John Burningham's Mr. Gumpy's Motorcar (Crowell, 1976), and the noise level increases as well, … la Ann McGovern's Too Much Noise (Houghton, 1967). The first passengers are talking yaks, who are joined by singing acrobats, quacking ducks, and a few stomping elephants for good measure. When two mice set off fireworks, the engineer has had enough and threatens to turn the train around. Properly chastened, the whole menagerie quiets down and the book trails off with just the "clickety clack" of the wheels. The action is set to a driving rhyme scheme. Spengler's richly hued paintings make the most of the humorous situations. The double-page spreads are crammed with roly-poly characters. The ending is a bit of a downer in that the travelers all look so sad after the engineer yells at them, in marked contrast to the good time they were having.-Judith Gloyer, Milwaukee Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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