Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Train Stories - New & Old

Many young children find trains a fascinating subject. Just ask a children's librarian - "where are books about trains?" is a question we regularly hear from the youngest children on up. Often the "favorites" are checked out regularly and read over and over again. Perhaps you've already found and read all of the train books. But there just might be a hidden gem still waiting for you at the library. Using the kids' catalog, you can search by the subject heading "trains" to find fiction and nonfiction books about trains. You can also search the classic catalog, setting your limits to the "J Easy Book" collection, and then searching by the subjects containing "trains" to limit your results to only picture books about trains.

Here are a few of my favorite train picture books:
The Train by David McPhail
A young boy is busy playing train when his parents announce that it is bedtime. When he can't fall asleep, he takes an imaginative ride on his toy train and gets busy helping the train run.
A Train Goes Clickety-Clack by Jonathan London, illustrated by Denis Roche
This simple, colorful book is great for sharing with toddlers and preschoolers who love trains. Easy, rhyming text describe the various uses of different kinds of trains.
Railroad John and the Red Rock Run by Tony Crunk, illustrations by Michael Austin
Lonesome Bob and Granny Apple Fritter are in a hurry! They must get to Red Rock by 2:00 or he'll miss his wedding! Railroad John is running late - really late - andLonesome Bob fears he'll never make it. Will they get there in time? The sepia-toned artwork is beautiful and the end depics a boy playing with an antique train in an attic filled with items found throughout the story. Older preschoolers and early elementary-aged children will enjoy this one.
Jiggle Joggle Jee! by Laura E. Richards, illustrated by Sam Williams
Join a baby and his stuffed animal friends on a rollicking, rhyming train ride. This one is great for babies, wobblers and toddlers who will love the repetitive refrain and alliteration of "jiggle joggle jee!"
Down by the Station by Will Hillenbrand
The childhood song "Down by the Station" is beautifully depicted in this fun, colorful book by Will Hillenbrand. Sing along and pay close attention to the pictures as the train picks up new animal passengers on its way to the children's zoo. There's just the right amount of drama as the end passengers' car breaks lose and plummets into a small pond. They are quickly rescued and hurry to rejoin the head of the train as it rolls along the track.
Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo by Kevin Lewis, illustrated by Daniel Kirk
This is a fantastic book that toddlers and preschoolers just love! There's just the right amount of text for a younger audience and rhythmic refrain of "Chugga-chugga Choo-choo/ Whistle blowing/ Whoooooooo! Whooooooooo!!" begs for repeated reading-aloud. This story follows a toy train's busy day and Daniel Kirk's color-saturated, dramatic computer-aided illustrations are full of shine and life.
And the Train Goes...by William Bee
The train rolls down the track going, "Click clack, clickerty clack." Along the journey each of the train cars inhabitants add their own sounds to the symphony of the train. The highlight is at the end when a parrot who had been carefully listening the whole time repeats all of the wonderful sounds heard.
All Aboard! by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Amiko Hirao
A girl goes on an overnight train ride with Mr. Barnes, her stuffed rabbit, to visit her grandparents. The story joggles between real and imaginary scenes. Young children who've had the experience of riding on a train - and those who anticipate such an event - are sure to enjoy.

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