A train ride is a mind-opening experience for a young train lover.
Little Elephant has a one-track mind, and that track has a train on it. No matter what his Mommy and Daddy try to discuss or do with him, it always comes back to trains. So one day, they take him on a real train ride. But when fellow passengers Cat, Penguin and Rabbit want to play with their own favorite vehicles instead of Little Elephant’s beloved train, can the trip be rescued? Abbot’s bright cartoon toddlers charmingly say only one word at a time (and even then, at most they say four different words in the entire book), and she imbues them with emotion by way of raised or lowered eyebrows and crossed or upraised arms. Little Elephant’s initial exuberance slowly turns to disappointment and then indignation. But after a surprise trip through a dark tunnel and a toy mix-up, the shouting match as to whose obsession is best (and Little Elephant’s stomping tantrum) changes to a deliciously riotous and melodious chant as the four new friends discover the joys of other forms of transportation: “Train—plane—digger—digger! Train—plane—car!” And the best part of the whole train ride? The new friends that Little Elephant has made, of course.
While this isn’t guaranteed to lessen readers’ own obsessions, it sure is fun to read aloud. (Picture book. 3-5)