Sayres and Slade move naturally from their truck lullaby, Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? (2012), to this nighttime serenade to all things train.
In gentle scenes that reflect the colors of the setting sun or are lightened by the stars and moon under a dusky-blue sky, anthropomorphized trains prepare to bed down for the night. “Where do snowplow trains sleep / after all the tracks are clear? / Do their moms say, ‘Plow your toys, kids— / bedtime’s almost here’?” The rhyming verse and illustration pair to make clear to readers the job of each train: the monorail’s heavy-lidded eyes look toward the airport it services, and the subway rests under a brightly lit and busy city street reminiscent of Times Square. Trains include steam, passenger, freight, fire, high-speed, and breakdown trains as well as trolleys, and the ending suitably places most around a roundhouse under their blanket of stars…before a turn of the page reveals a boy and a girl asleep in their twin beds, their toy trains and tracks laid out in an otherwise pristine bedroom. Pair this with Kevin Lewis’ Chugga-chugga Choo-choo, illustrated by Daniel Kirk (1999), for more train fun.
Thanks to the popularity of Thomas the Tank Engine, hopeful engineers will want to be able to identify the many different types of trains, and their out-of-the-know adults will appreciate this inclusive primer. (Picture book. 3-6)