An exciting train trip from his suburban town to the big city for a visit with grandma proves to be enlightening for a young boy.
This small child, dangling feet from his perch on the station bench, lunch bag in hand, experiences the thrill of traveling alone. His day begins with a warm greeting from a blue-uniformed conductor and continues with the “all aboard” whistle, the rush of the train’s mounting speed felt from a window seat, the special treat of being let into the engineer’s car to “sound the whistle” and the grand view of the approaching star-filled city skyline. Finally, the day-long trip culminates with his grandmother’s welcoming hug at the station. Gouache, Disney-esque cartoon drawings in understated colors provide a cheery, cherubic, wide-eyed cast of characters—complete with a rounded frontal view of a “little engine that could” smiling face. It's definitely a nostalgic view of a contemporary adventure. How many young children would be permitted to travel alone these days? The succinct, rhyming text is created with sentences of no more than two to four words each, which gives an appropriately trainlike rhythm to the narrative and supports emergent literacy skills in toddlers.
Little train lovers will be happy to travel along as this choo-choo rumbles along the tracks. (Picture book. 2-4)