Earlier today, UPS delivered a big box of new picture books. I didn’t open it until the school day was over so that I could anticipate seeing the new books all day. It turned out to be worth waiting for. Every book in the box is one I’ve been looking forward to, and two of them are about trains,
How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton
You have to suspend any sense of reality to read this fun book. It’s a guidebook to taking care of a very large pet. A pet with wheels that travels on a track. And…it would be very hard to fit into your house. The pet is a train. How to Train a Train includes tips like: “A warm bath can help calm a nervous train” and “spend as much time as you can getting to know your train.” The narrator (wearing a pith helmet) starts off by telling the reader where to go to find a train and then helpfully proceeds to give advice to the new train owner. He asks you to think about making your train happy: “Does it prefer going fast or slow? How does it feel about tunnels and bridges?” The faces on the trains are one of the best parts of this appealing book. They all have unique personalities, and each of them are so real that you may be tempted to consider getting a pet train for your family.
Locomotive by Brian Floca
When your train buff is a bit older, check out Locomotive, the stunning new book by Brian Floca. The best thing about this book is that there is so much to look at – information about the building of the transcontinental railroad, descriptions of life on the train for passengers and the crew, and everything you would see out the window as the train travels from Omaha, Nebraska to Sacramento, California. Locomotive is an essential book for students studying westward expansion and the impact of the train on American life. It is also breathtaking to look at. This one is a treasure.