Book Review: Steam Train, Dream Train

Steam Train, Dream Train

Author: Sherri Duskey Rinker  Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld

Publisher: Chronicle Books © 2013

Genre: Children’s Books

Subgenre: Trains, Stories in Verse, Family Life & Sleep

Reviewer: Sara

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It’s past bedtime and the magic of a steam train carrying tasty snacks and toys abounds. Animals are matched to loads and cars, packing the train for its nightly journey to a land of dreams.

We were introduced to Steam Train, Dream Train when it was given to my oldest as a gift. A lover of reading and trains, this book was an instant favorite. From the animals filling their respective cars with toys, playing or snacking, the different types of train cars are introduced and matched up with loads appropriate for them. Cold food goes in the reefer cars, paints in the tankers and giant, awkward shaped items in the well cars. The train, seen on the last page from afar, turns out to be a toy, loaded with other toys, on the floor of a sleeping child’s room.

The artwork is vibrant and perfectly portrays the action of the story. Rhyme and cadence are maintained through the book. There’s an artful flow to the story, bringing the reader (and listeners) into the whirlwind of activity as the train is packed. It winds down with the animals tucking themselves in, the train departing into the night. The story ends with the train chuffing away, ready for another day. It’s an easy read, well-designed as a bedtime story. I do wonder if there really was ice cream loaded into the reefer cars…or maybe it was eaten with the rest of the “tasty midnight snack.”

A wonderful, fun story for the busy mom to share with her kids, I highly recommend adding Steam Train, Dream Train to the library of kid’s books. It’s one of our favorites and I expect, train lovers or not, this will soon be one of yours.

Happy reading and happy trails!

Cover art © Tom Lichtenheld; Chronicle Books

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