Now that I have a train fanatic in the house, we discovered a serious hole in our kids books--train books. After hearing Luke ask for 'train book, train book' and facing 2-3 options to read over and over, my mom rescued us and sent some more. :)
We have a fantastic selection now. If you're looking for some fun, enjoyable train books for your toddler, here are some suggestions.
1. Two Little Trains, by Margaret Wise Brown
think this one might be my favorite to read. Margaret Wise Brown is
best known for Good Night, Moon, but this beautiful, lyrical, and clever
book makes for a lovely good night read too. The book features two
trains--one big silver train traveling across the land and one little
old train traveling to the bedroom. I appreciate the way she draws
connections through the landscape and the house, and the soft pictures
and quiet words lead gently to bedtime.
2. Train Song by Diane Siebert
I love this kind of poetry--the words are like a rich, delicious feast that I want to roll around in my mouth and savor. The rhymes are accompanied by simple yet warm paintings of landscapes and images of the train traveling through the country. I feel like it would make a great Reading Rainbow book.
3. Trains, by Gail Gibbons
This was one of the first train books my mom got for Luke, and I was a little skeptical the first time I read it. The illustrations are more cartoonish, and it falls directly into the 'informative' category. But as I read it more, I began to appreciate the bright, colorful pictures, and I found the amount of words on each page to be just about right. Mostly importantly, Luke loved it.
4. Steam Train, Dream Train, by Rinker and Lichtenheld
Luke enjoyed their first book (Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site), so when my mom saw this team had come out with a TRAIN book, it was on the way to our house in no time. :) There are more words on these pages, but the frolicking rhymes keeps things moving. The pictures are fun, and Luke likes to see all the animals working on the train.
5. Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo, by Kevin Lewis
train book is perfect for that impatient listener--the pictures are
big, bright, and feature recognizable toys, there aren't too many words
on the pages, and the train whistle is perfect for 'reading along.'
There are lots of things going on in the pictures, so it also works well
for interactive reading (do you see..., can you find..., etc.).
6. The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper
No list of train books would be complete without this classic. There are a lot of options for this book (board, abridged, unabridged, etc.). Consider your reader and your listener when picking one--the unabridged version has a lot of words on the page and is somewhat repetitive, so if you have an impatient listener, a shorter version might be better. That said, Luke and Katie love to hear the different trains (complete with pompous and booming voices) and don't seem to mind the repetition at all. The length means you also get a complete story with a great lesson.