A Train’ed Monkey

February 8, 2008

Alumnus Dave Opie (MFA 2002 Illustration as Visual Essay) is giving a new visual spin to an old story in his latest children’s book, Monkey and the Engineer (Redpsych Productions, 2007). The book uses as its text the lyrics to the titular folk song, written in the 1950s by Jesse Fuller and later made famous by the Grateful Dead. Over the course of 26 pages of playful illustrations, Opie depicts the tale of Locomotive 99, in which the engineer’s pet monkey ends up driving the train along its countryside route. In addition, the book includes a reproduction of Fuller’s original sheet music and lyrics, as well as a Web address that allows readers to listen to a recording of Fuller singing the song.

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