What We’re Reading: Trains

by Beth on October 24, 2013

5 Books for Little Train Lovers


While we’ll still be sharing plenty of recipes on Domestic Pursuits, we’re adding new features related to family life and raising children.  This is the first installment of What We’re Reading, a series of posts where I will share favorite books from our home and local libraries.

Like many children his age, my three year old son Benjamin loves trains.  Playing with trains, pretending to ride a train, reading about trains – all bring him great joy.  We’re always on the lookout for new train books at the library.  The best of the best eventually make their way into our permanent collection.

We own all five of the books listed below.  They’re tried and true favorites – books that Benjamin returns to time and time again.  It’s also worth adding that I truly enjoy these books too.

Train Man – This is probably Benjamin’s favorite train book of all time.  In it, a young boy tells the reader “When I get big, I’m going to be a train man.”  His train man adventures are accompanied by cute illustrations that depict the young boy performing all sorts of train-related tasks that are typically reserved for adults – every little train lover’s dream come true.  Benjamin enjoys inspecting the detailed illustrations, calling out “All Aboard!” along with the narrator and imaging that someday “…he can be a train man too.”


 Steam Train, Dream Train – Sherry Dusky Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld’s follow up to Goodnight, Goodnight Contruction Site (also amazing), this dreamy book tells the tale of a fantastic train carrying whimsical cargo through the night.  Along the way, the functions of various train cars are presented in fun detail.  Kangaroos load bouncy balls into hopper cars, while penguins and polar bears stash ice cream in the reefer car.  The beautifully detailed illustrations and rhyming, lightly rhythmic text always elicit smiles from our son.  It’s a longer and more detailed story than many of his books, so I’m sure we’ll get many more years out of this lovely book.


 Chugga Chugga Choo Choo – Another bedtime train story, this bright and whimsically illustrated book follows the journey of a train from sun up to sun down.   While the words could relate to any train’s journey, the illustrations depict a toy train winding through creatively laid-out toys in a little boy’s room.  There’s a lot to look at, great rhymes to complete, and a recurring refrain of “Chugga-chugga choo-choo, wheels-a-turning, whoo-whoo” that one can’t help but exclaim!  While we read this at bedtime, it usually turns into a loud, rollicking read.


 I Love Trains - In this book, a little boy describes the cars on a freight train as it lumbers past his door.  Benjamin enjoys pointing out the different kinds of cars. It’s a simple book with basic text and simple, colorful illustrations but there is something captivating about they way it depicts the train.


 Freight Train - Donald Crews’ classical Caldecott Honor Book is simple and straightforward.  With spare text and colorful, stencil-like images, it introduces young readers to different primary-colored train cars and shows the train picking up steam as it travels across the countryside.  It’s a quick basic read.

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